New Trends Reporter –
Residents of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) are up in arms with the city fathers for failing to deliver quality service to the Free State provincial capital.
The residents, calling themselves the Concerned Mangaung Residents, have given council two working days to respond to their demands or else they will take ‘further action’. The Concerned Mangaung Residents is a body composed of members from such organisations as Mangaung Hawkers’ Association, Mangaung Taxi Association, the Patriotic Alliance, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), South African Communist Party (SACP) as well as the Mangaung Progressive Business Forum, marched from Batho Community Hall to present a memorandum of demands to the Executive Mayor, Sarah Olly Mlamleli. Mangaung Municipality Manager, Tankiso Mea, received the memorandum on behalf of the mayor.
Some of the demands listed in the memorandum include the lack of service delivery that has resulting in refuse piling up in most sections of the city, burst water pipes, sewage spillage, rising unemployment, nepotism, corruption in the awarding of tenders, the non-functional taxi rank in Bloemfontein city centre, among others.
The marchers also demanded that Mlamleli steps down as mayor of the metro.
“What has prompted us to march today is the rising deterioration of service delivery in the city. We have noticed how this city has become filthy. There is sewerage flowing right where we live in the townships and the sad part is some of our young children are at the risk of contracting diseases from playing in this sewerage. There’s corruption everywhere. The issues are many and I could go on and on,” explained Mncebisi Thuso Bokwa, the convenor of the Mangaung People’s March.
Mangaung Municipality spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, said council will sit down to find a way forward regarding the demands from the marchers.
“We have taken note of the demands by the marchers. Their demands can be dived into two; the urgent and the not-so-urgent matters. Council will sit down to see how best we can address the concerns raised here starting with the urgent ones,” Khedama said.
He added that most residents have not been paying for services hence the local authority was left with a strained budget.
“On the issue of refuse collection and burst sewer and water pipe repairs, it is unfortunate that most residents are not paying rates for services. This puts council in a very difficult situation when it comes to service delivery, we encourage residents to pay their rates so that we are better able to provide them with the right service delivery,” he said.
The marchers accuse the city fathers of undermining residents as no response has so far been forthcoming from earlier demands made to council.