Fri Oct 21 18:37:59 CAT 2016


By unknown | Apr 08, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The ANC's dream of winning the election with a two thirds majority could remain just that - if the lack of electricity and water in the far-flung villages of Limpopo is not addressed.

After 15 years of freedom, the majority of people in villages in Sekhukhune and Tzaneen say they have still not tasted the fruits of freedom because they "still use firewood and candles and water from rivers to light and cook".

The villagers say that their women and children are raped while they fetch water or firewood from far away.

Residents of Bolobedu in Tzaneen and Malokela, Moroke and six other villages in Sekhukhune are typical examples of "forgotten communities" who have never had a taste of clean running water and electricity in their homes since the dawn of democracy.

Spokesperson for the Malokela and Moroke communities Hendrick Masete said a girl was recently raped while others were robbed of their cellphones and shoes while collecting firewood.

Masete said women and child-headed families were frequent victims of rape as their homes were dark because of no electricity.

Masete said the community had approached their local municipality many times and it had promised to address their problems.

"We embarked on a protest march to the municipality a fortnight ago as a last resort.

"They promised to address our problems within 14 days but nothing has been done to date," he said.

The residents have now threatened not to vote for the ANC in the coming election.

They accuse the ANC-led local municipality of "playing with people's lives" and "empty promises".

Some residents buy water at between R1 and R2 per 20 litres from the "rich who have boreholes in their yards", said Masete.

James Lebea, a member of the governing body of one of the local schools in Moleketla near Relela said children where forced to bring water in squeeze bottles or risk losing some lessons every day because they had to fetch water from one communal tap.

"We feel forgotten and used by the ANC," said Lebea.

"We vote for them but they dump us after winning the elections. It will be a miracle if me and my family vote this year, although I have registered for the election," said Lebea

Head of communications in the Sekhukhune district municipality, Simon Makunyane, apologised to the residents yesterday and admitted that the municipality had wronged them.

He also undertook to arrange an urgent meeting between the municipality and residents to find a way forward.

Makunyane, however, said the district had set aside R17million in this financial year and that this money was to be used to address infrastructural problems in some of the villages.


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