South Africa 23.7.2015 12:22 pm

Khutsong leader says MPLs’ visit a publicity stunt

Community leader Mzwandile Maila points out a sewage leak on the property of Fortunate Kleinhans in Khutsong, 5 May 2015. The community have been complaining to the municipility about this leak, and others in the neighbourhood, since 2012. Picture: Michel Bega

Community leader Mzwandile Maila points out a sewage leak on the property of Fortunate Kleinhans in Khutsong, 5 May 2015. The community have been complaining to the municipility about this leak, and others in the neighbourhood, since 2012. Picture: Michel Bega

The residents of Khutsong on the West Rand on Wednesday got an opportunity to voice their service delivery problems to government representatives from parliament and the members of provincial legislature.

Khutsong falls under the Merafong local municipality. The area came to the spotlight in the past three months when residents repeatedly complained about what they called poor service delivery. These included the flow of sewage to the homes after a sewer pipe burst, which was reported in The Citizen in May.

The visit to Merafong local municipality was part of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Provincial Week programme carried out by the legislature, which started on Monday. The four-day programme entails visiting the best performing municipalities and those under distress to examine the current state of local government on various fronts. These include service delivery, financial viability, economic development and spending on municipal infrastructure.

The NCOP delegation and MPLs of various political parties also visited Mogale City local municipalities to interact with residents there. However, Khutsong community leader Mzwandile Maila yesterday expressed doubt on whether the programme would bring about positive changes to areas in the Merafong local municipality. He said Khutsong residents have been without water for nine days despite many reports of the problem to the local authorities.

“The municipality brought tanks to the streets but they have not been filled with water,” said Maila.

“We were not even told about the visit. I only saw people cleaning the streets where the leadership was going to walk. They only cleaned when the leadership was about to come. They just came here to seek publicity for next year’s local government elections.”

A meeting will be held with the provincial leadership in the legislature on Friday to report back on issues that came from the programme.

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