President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday reprimanded Sol Plaatje local municipality executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, for the appalling conditions in which community members of Colville-Floors have been forced to live in as a result of the municipality’s failure to provide refuse removal.
Ramaphosa went on a door-to-door activation campaign on Thursday morning to encourage community members to attend the ANC’s 108th birthday celebrations at the Tafel Lager Stadium on Saturday.
He was confronted by a situation where refuse was being dumbed right outside the shacks of some residents.
The unbearable stench and appalling sight of the rubbish dump led to Ramaphosa questioning Mabilo on “the unacceptable” sight.
“There is an old lady here and she told me that just across the road from where she lives there is a dumbing site ... is there any refuse removal... or plan in place to deal with the matter?” asked the visibly shocked Ramaphosa.
Embattled Mabilo, who was last year “proposed” to be replaced by ANC councillor Ronney Morwe, responded saying a plan was in place to address the matter to which the president responded “this [the state that residents are forced to live under] is unacceptable”.
Mabilo was yesterday a no-show at the Mayibuye Community Centre when Ramaphosa, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and Northern Cape premier Zamani Saul presided over the cake-cutting ceremony celebrating the party’s 108th birthday.
The centre is in Mabilo’s municipality and those who spoke to City Press said “it is a telling sign that the disgruntled mayor [who almost faced a motion of no confidence from his own party last year] was on his way out”.
Residents also said the Mayibuye community hall and other sites were cleaned up just days before the party rolled into town for the celebrations.
“We have been living under unacceptable conditions, most of which are a health hazard for us and our children,” said a resident who spoke to City Press.
Last week the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry raised concerns regarding a lack of accommodation in the town, as well as Kimberley’s limited supply of clean water.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile was also confronted by the same complaints from residents while on a walk-about on Thursday in Galeshewe.
Most residents complained about the lack of housing, unemployment and clean water.
Mashatile said: “Having done a walk-about, the party has been taking note of all the concerns raised by residents and would be handing them over to the relevant members and the premier’s executive committee.”