Community in clash with council over road project

A MAJOR confrontation has broken out between the community of Salema in Malamulele in Limpopo and the Thulamela municipality over a ring road that is under construction in the area.

A MAJOR confrontation has broken out between the community of Salema in Malamulele in Limpopo and the Thulamela municipality over a ring road that is under construction in the area.

At the centre of the row is the specification of the project, which shows that the road should be tarred to a certain point where it will turn back before reaching the end of the village.

This has angered members of the community, who allege that the road would divide the community.

On Monday the community staged a march to the Saselamani police station, where they submitted a memorandum to the municipality and also called for the construction to be put on hold until the problems were resolved.

More than 500 people carrying placards marched to the police station and handed the memorandum to local ANC ward councillor Khazamula Chavani.

In the memorandum they said they did not oppose the project, but if it excluded other people they felt it was dividing the community.

"We are not against our government but certain people in the Thulamela municipality are working against our community," said spokesperson for the marchers Nelson Maluleke.

He said the municipality had worked alone in discussing about the project despite the fact that the community had sent representatives to talk to local mayor Norman Makumbane when they heard about it.

"But Makumbane chickened out of the meeting and went away, saying he had not been aware of it. This is despite the fact that we had made an appointment with his office," Maluleke said.

He said they later met an official, Mulimisi Muneri, who allegedly said they could not change the specifications to accommodate the demands of the community because planning was at an advanced stage.

After receiving the memorandum Chavani told the workers he would send it to the municipality and they would get a response.

Meanwhile, Maluleke said they would have marched some time ago but this was stopped for a while after Vhembe district executive mayor Falaza Mdaka promised to sort out the impasse by assisting with funds. But this had never happened.

Vhembe district municipality spokesperson Moss Shivambu said the district wanted to intervene and make sure the spat between the community and municipality was resolved amicably.

"We hope we will sit down with all the parties because when people sit down they will have a solution," Shivambu said.

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