Villagers protest over poor service

A GROUP of disillusioned people, who include former councillor in the Greater Tzaneen municipality Humphrey Mashala, took part in a protest march yesterday over poor service delivery.

The march was organised by residents of Morwatshehla village in Limpopo.

The community marched on the municipal offices in Tzaneen, demanding clean water, electricity, roads, sanitation, residential sites and RDP houses.

They accused the municipality of failing to deliver better services to their area in 15 years of democracy.

The protesters, who included women, teenagers and pensioners, carried placards and 2-litre bottles of contaminated water, which was allegedly drawn from a well from which they fetch water for household use.

A spokesperson for the residents Victor Senyolo said the community was tired of "empty promises from the municipality".

He said there was a water project in the area with five huge jojo tanks that were installed about five years ago, but there was no water to supply to the villagers.

Senyolo said the villagers were forced to draw drinking water from the well in the river outside the village, but the water was not fit for human consumption.

The protesters also handed in two bottles of dirty water to municipal chief whip, Joyce Nkwinika, who also received a memorandum on behalf of mayor Othaniel Mushwana.

Senyolo said the aim of handing over the dirty water to the municipality was to show that villagers were living under a threat of being infected with waterborne diseases.

They gave the municipality 15 days to respond to the grievances. They said they would go to the office of Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale or that of President Jacob Zuma if their ultimatum was not honoured.

In response, after receiving the memorandum, Nkwinika promised that the matter would be given immediate attention even before the end of the 15-day ultimatum as the protesters had demanded.