Premier Mtshweni promises some action in badly run municipality

Ordinary people in this municipality always accuse politicians of diverting money meant for improving their lives to bankroll their own lavish lifestyles, only using them as voting cows every five years.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni has promised actions in one of the worst performing Mpumalanga municipalities just a week after co-operative governance minister Zweli Mkhize made a visit to the province.

The Premier visited the Secunda area of eMbalenhle and Leslie over the weekend and found people living with sewer overflows as a result of abandoned and collapsing infrastructure.

Premier Mtshweni promises some action in badly run municipality

SEE ALSO: Parliament committee concerned of Gert Sibande’s “sluggish” response to falling waste water infrastructure

She said people cannot be expected to live in such conditions, sewer spilling onto their streets and homes.

Spokesman Zibonele Mncwango said Mtshweni wants the work to solve this problem to begin as soon as this week.

He said R50 million has been set aside by Mtshweni’s government to fix the Gert Sibande district municipality’s problem and other affected municipalities.

Premier Mtshweni promises some action in badly run municipality

It was reported last year that in fact all of Mpumalanga’s waste water treatement plants are leaking, polluting fresh water sources and officials were doing nothing to attend to the problem.

In a statement by Parliament’s water and sanitation committee early this year, officials at Gert Sibande district municipality – the province’s worst municipality – were slammed for their “sluggish” response in attending to the collapsing waste water infrastructure.

Their sluggish response to the issue were found to cause raw sewer to pollute wetlands and the Vaal River, a national river that starts in the Ermelo and Standerton area and goes to supply millions of Gauteng households.

In 2015, AfriForum took samples from the Vaal River water in Standerton to a laboratory and tests revealed that the amount of E. coli and faecal coliform bacteria exceeded 1000 units per 100ml.

Recently, the Gert Sibande district municipality reportedly did tests on 45 water samples taken from Carolina, Nooitgedacht, Bettysgoed, Ekulindeni, Elukwatini, and Fernie.

Out of the 45 samples tested, it was found that 23 have high levels of E-coli and faecal bacterial materials.

ALSO RELATED: Mtsweni concerned about failing waste water infrastructure

“The Premier has called for an urgent removal of sewer spillage in Leslie and eMbalenhle,” spokesman Mncwango said on Facebook.

“She visited Leslie township on Saturday to check progress after she announced last month the provincial government’s commitment to clear sewer spillage which is imposing health hazards on the residents,” Mncwango said.

“She has instructed the human settlement department to start work as soon as next week,” he added.

ALSO RELATED: Zweli Mkhize visits poorly run Mpumalanga municipalities

Mtshweni once spoke about the issue in the Mpumalanga legislature while she was co-operative governance MEC after it was found that the province’s waste water treatment plants did not meet the department of water and sanitation’s standards of proper management of waste water infrastructure.

She said then that the reason these waste water treatment plans were leaking like this and not meeting the standards was because they did not have “maintenance plans”.

(edited by MLM)

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Bethuel: “Afriforum told us they have a well-trained army”

They had staged a protest to the Hoërskool Overvaal last week.

Cosas national treasurer Bethuel Zunguza who a week ago made news shouting racially-charged slogans against Afrikaners has told 013NEWS that members of the civil lobby group Afriforum threatened them with a “well-trained army” that they have based in the Free State, Northern and Western Cape.

Zunguza together with a scores of other youths from ANCYL, Cosas and EFF are out on bail after they were arrested for public violence on Wednesday last week.

They were kept at the Vereneeging police station in Gauteng after a protest to the Hoërskool Overvaal demanding the end to the use of Afrikaans turned violent, with others being badly shot with rubber bullets.

The protest were sparked by a High Court ruling that the school cannot accommodate English learners.

The Cosas national treasurer, who hails from the Secunda area of Mpumalanga and who was elected to this position during a Durban national congress in August 2017, is captured in an online video leading one of the groups of students and singing derogatory slogans against Afrikaners and calling for them “to die”.

“This is our country. They must run,” Zunguza shouts in another interview.

“We can’t be abused by whites,” he said.

He said soon afterwards the cops swooped and arrested him.

“They targeted me, I don’t know why,” he told the 013NEWS reporter over the phone, “and the others were arrested also”.

“The police took us in their hippo to the school premises where they paraded us to racist Afrikaner parents who are Afriforum members,” Zunguza charged.

“They asked us what were you trying to do with these things of yours and we said no we want change here,” he said.

“And then they said to me I must be careful with all other blacks because they have a well-trained army in Free State and Western Cape to destroy everybody in this country,” Zunguza said.

Afriforum spokesman Ian Cameron this week said the allegations were “laughable” as Afriforum only has “community patrol units” that works with cops to fight crime.

“Not at all,” he said when asked whether Afriforum does have a military army.

“Only community patrollers. Not such a thing, we don’t have,” he said.

(edited by ZK)

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