Irate residents of Salvokop in the City of Tshwane want their ward 80 councillor, Fortune Mampuru, to be axed for failing to attend to their service delivery complaints ranging from unrepaired potholes to uncollected garbage.
Their call was captured in a memorandum of demands handed over to MMC Corporate and Shared Services, Kingsley Wakelin, during a march on Monday at Tshwane House.
Wakelin was given a seven-day ultimatum to respond to residents’ grievances, which included failure by the councillor to convene regular community meetings.
They also griped about the fact that Mampuru didn’t update them about the ongoing multi-million rand Salvokop Precinct Development Project, which include the construction of four government buildings.
A group of residents lamented that they have been excluded from benefiting in the project.
Speaking on behalf of residents, Vena Molokomme said: “We currently have a big project where he needs to call the community and update them from time to time. The community doesn’t benefit from any of the projects in the ward.”
She pointed fingers at Mampuru for failing to convene community meetings since he was installed in office.
“We want the removal of our councillor because he is not doing anything for us,” she said.
She cited poor service delivery in the ward as the main cause of discontent among residents.
“We reported that he needs to attend to potholes, but he did not do that. He even fails to issue proofs of residence to people,” she said.
Molokomme accused Mampuru of having sabotaged residents’ march to Tshwane House on Monday by threatening residents that they would be arrested should they take part in it.
“We had community meetings prior to the march and on Sunday we even went to remind people about the march. But, the councillor went to mobilise people to tell residents that they would be arrested if they joined the march,” she said.
Contacted for comment, Mampuru said participants in the march were not residents in his ward, but a “rented mob” with political motives against him.
“Secondly, I am not the one responsible for the collapse of service delivery in the City of Tshwane. I am an ANC councillor under the DA administration. I only do oversight to make sure that there are services,” he said.
He said service delivery has generally collapsed in Tshwane, but not specifically to his ward.
“There is lots of garbage that is not cleaned and from time to time we are engaging officials about the cleanliness of the area,” he said.
Regarding the complaints about failure to call regular meetings, he said: “Those people aren't residents in ward 80 and therefore they can’t say anything about that. There are lots of activities happening in the area and even next week there are a couple of public meetings that I am going to convene to engage residents. We do call block meetings.”
Mampuru said the Department of Public Works was busy with upgrading the infrastructure in Salvokop and also has the Expanded Public Works Programme in place.
“The majority of people are not complaining. Out of at least 4 500 residents there is a group of less than 200 and the majority of them are a rented mob,”he said.
He dismissed accusations that he threatened people with arrest should they participate in the march, saying residents chose not to take part “because they know the type of services they are receiving from Public Works Department, including the City of Tshwane’s Human Settlements and Housing Department”.
Last year, Minister of Public Works Sihle Zikalala visited the area and expressed confidence that the ongoing construction of four government buildings would be completed in 2025.
Zikalala said the first phase of the project would create at least 3 152 jobs and that the land on which it was rolled out was procured at the cost of R61 million from Transnet.