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Residents of Bekkersdal township west of Johannesburg feel that their much-publicised 2013 protests over poor service delivery – which resulted in over R11 million worth of damage to infrastructure – were all in vain as services have still not improved.
Residents say overflowing sewage, uncollected refuse, a high crime rate, a lack of access to electricity, sporting and other recreational facilities are some of the challenges they are still grappling with.
Bekkersdal falls under the Rand West Local Municipality established in 2016, following the merger of the Westonaria and Randfontein local municipalities.
Residents say they feel their municipality has let them down.
“We vote, but after that there’s nothing they do for us. I do not think there will ever be protests in Bekkersdal because what we fought for was all in vain. Sewage is overflowing, the township if filthy.”
“There are no garbage trucks, they tell you that the trucks have run out of diesel or have no tyres and can’t be driven. There are no community halls. There are no SASSA offices, when you need one, you have to take a taxi to Randfontein, and it is costly. Nothing works here,” explains one resident.
In 2014, Bekkersdal residents embarked on series of service delivery protests. Todate the say that came to nothing. Sewage overflows, no electricity, recreational facilities. Unemployment is high. Hear their plight on @UpdateAtNoon with @SakinaKamwendo btwn 12 &1pm. #SABCNEWS pic.twitter.com/keYp5bBOvK
— Tshepo (@tphagane) September 28, 2021
Meanwhile, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa says the party is committed to ensuring that every person placed in a crucial leadership position in an ANC-run municipality, has the necessary experience, capabilities and commitment to fulfil their responsibility.
Ramaphosa says the ANC has undertaken a process of renewal which includes strengthening the leadership of municipalities.
“We will make sure that municipal staff must be made up of people who are competent. We want competent municipal managers, we want competent financial officers, we want competent engineers and we want all the people who [are] appointed to be competent. We don’t want fly-by-nights,” explains ANC President.
ANC outlines its priorities for the next five years: