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Storms take out the town

By Alex Matlalamatlalaa@sowetan.co.za | Jan 06, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ZEBEDIELA residents are reeling from the effects of a vicious storm that destroyed their community hall and the town's tribal authority offices .

Vital documents, such as certified copies of certificates, ID applications and residential approval letters, were lost in the storm.

Parents who want to acquire signed letters for child support grants will now have to travel more than 50km to Lebowakgomo for such services.

Community spokesperson Jackson Kekana said yesterday the storm started on New Year's Day and lasted for nearly a week.

He said the affected buildings developed cracks and then collapsed.

The buildings were built by the Limpopo government about 10 years ago.

"In 2007 cracks started to develop on them, posing a serious danger to the tribal authority officials using them.

"We pleaded with the premier's office to renovate them so that they could be suitable for use but our pleas always fell on deaf ears," he said.

Granny Letsoalo of Moletlane, a Grade 12 pupil at a local school, said yesterday that she was told by her parents to open a bank account so that they could send her money.

"I was unable to open the account yesterday because the tribal authority was busy trying to clear the rubble from all the collapsed buildings," she said.

"I had to travel to Lebowakgomo for the same services but they sent me back to my chief for his stamp and signature."

According to Kekana, several meetings were held in the past between the tribal authority, members of the community and the premier's office "but all this proved fruitless".

"Each time they gave us the run-around.

" At first they promised to give us mobile offices but three years on we are still waiting."

Area chief Madimetja Sello Kekana of the Zebediela Ndebele traditional council said: "We are only asking for the government to intervene financially and build us new offices so that we can help our community."

Kekana said the damage caused by the storm was estimated at R250000.

Spokesperson for the Limpopo provincial government Mohale Nchabeleng said they had dispatched officials from the public works department to evaluate the damage.

Nchabeleng said the functions of the tribal authority have now been relocated to another small building " as a temporary measure".

The provincial government was "busy refurbishing and building new structures for traditional leaders and the Kekana clan was counted among those who would benefit from the programme," Nchabeleng said.


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