Service delivery riots

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The community of Penge outside Burgersfort in Mpumalanga has accused the Greater Tubatse Municipality (GTM) of delays in providing them with basic services.

Consequently, villagers barricaded roads and prevented residents from leaving and coming into the Maretlwaneng village in the area during protests yesterday.

The community accused municipal officials of playing games with them each time they were supposed to kick-start service delivery projects.

The villages have allegedly been without water, electricity, access roads and proper RDP houses which were promised to them since the dawn of democracy, villagers allege. The affected villages are Maretlwaneng, Moraba, Mokgotho and Malepe, which all fall under Penge.

Youth leader Shaba Marula said yesterday's action was sparked by GTM's reluctance to attend to their problems each time officials were summoned.

"Officials at the GTM are aware of our problems, but each time we invite them to come and see our living conditions they ignore us, hence we decided to embark on protests," said Marula.

He said they had submitted a memorandum of their grievances and expected to get a response by Wednesday next week. "Should they fail to come up with a positive response, we will meet and decided on the next action."

The GTM spokesman, Jerminah Kaka, said yesterday that they were aware of the problems experienced by the community in the area and that they were working on them. "But what I can say is that the provision of water is the responsibility of the district municipality, with whom we are in close contact," she said.