Community threatens to make Upington ’ungovernable’
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COMMUNITY members have threatened to make Upington ungovernable, through rolling mass action, if they do not receive answers from the Dawid Kruiper Municipality, by Friday March 19.
A march took place from the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital to the Dawid Kruiper Municipality where a memorandum was handed over on Wednesday.
It stated that the municipality was “tethering on the verge of bankruptcy for years”, while community members want allegations of corruption, maladministration, wasteful expenditure and impunity to be urgently addressed.
“The result has been the rapid collapse of our infrastructure, lack of development, very high services rates and the extremely high cost of electricity to the consumers. We are here to express our disgust at the filthy condition of our communities and CBD.”
Community members called for steps to be taken against officials involved in unfinished road construction projects.
They stated that a R6,1 million tender for the upgrading of streets in Loubos was left unfinished after the contractor was paid R4,5 million.
“The contract was terminated last month and a new contractor was appointed for R7,1 million to finish the project. This project will now cost the municipality a total of close to R12 million. That is R3 million higher than the highest tender which was R9,3 million.”
They added that another R13 million contract was awarded in September 2019 for a road project in Rosedale that was terminated in December last year.
“The municipality already paid the bidder R14,25 million on December 3 2020. Just last month, the municipality appointed another contractor to finish the project at a cost of R7,3 million. This project will cost the municipality about R21 million, an increase of about R8 million.”
The memorandum indicated that the Eiland resort belonged to the people and that intentions to dispose of it, was not in their interests.
“We are aware of the scheme by irredeemably corrupt, greedy and unscrupulous leaders to have the Eiland and other immovable assets sold to their equally corrupt business associates. We want to make it known to you, we will oppose this theft of public property with all our might, including making this town ungovernable.”
It added that the electricity of the most vulnerable members of society, including the elderly was periodically disconnected.
“What type of a municipality is this, that has no empathy for the aged? In conditions where violent crime is so common, does the safety of our elderly not concern you, when they must often suffer in darkness because of your inhumane policies?”
Residents objected to the rubbish and the stench of overflowing drains while they stated that millions of Rands was spent on overtime.
“Our communities have the right to and deserve to live in dignity. We reject the notion that because our people are poor and live in squatter camps, that they must therefore suffer the indignity of uncollected sanitation buckets.”
Spokesperson for the Dawid Kruiper Municipality Patrick Williams confirmed receipt of the memorandum and said they would respond by the set deadline.
He added that the march was peaceful.