MEC Masuku condemns incidences of violence during protests
10 May 2012
The MEC for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Madala Masuku has condemned in the strongest possible terms the recent incidences of unwarranted violence, malicious destruction of property, disrespect of the rule of law and the violation of the rights of law abiding citizens by certain residents in the province that has accompanied service delivery protests.
MEC Masuku has stated that while government respect’s the rights of individual’s to protest however such protests should be within the ambit of the law. “Lawlessness, destruction of property and misbehaving will certainly not be allowed. Law enforcement agents need to investigate and apprehend all those implicated in these acts of violence and destruction of property, so that they can face the full might of the law.” said Masuku.
He said that it was very disturbing that communities request government to provide them with services and infrastructure and then they again destroy them. “Government has limited resources that need to be spread throughout all communities. If government has provided buildings and equipment to service an area, and then it is destroyed this is taking the community backwards, as government cannot go back and provide the services again there as there are other areas that need to be serviced with the limited resources. It is important for communities to defend public property” said Masuku.
He further added that government is aware of the water problems faced by some communities in the province. As immediate intervention to assist municipalities the Provincial Executive Council approved an intervention programme of R85 million to address the water problems in areas where the infrastructure is decaying and communities are not receiving water. The intervention was aimed at bulk infrastructure challenges and to provide relief to affected municipalities.
The interventions included the following; replacing and refurbishing of water pumps, upgrading of water treatment works, cleaning of water treatment works, replacing of mechanical equipment and chemical dosing units, drilling and equipping of boreholes, installation of bulk water supplies, replacing of leaking pipes and a contribution towards the Bloemendal-Delmas Water Pipeline.
Municipalities that have benefitted include Nkomazi, Mbombela, Bushbuckridge, Albert Luthuli, Dipaleseng, Msukaligwa, Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, Lekwa, Mkhondo, Emalahleni, and Victor Khanye. “ We are aware that more still needs to be done and we are finalising the Provincial Water Master Plan, that will outline governments holistic plan to address the water challenges in province said Masuku.
In Bushbuckridge, the Municipality supported by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) will be replacing two pumps which were taken in for repairs at the Hoxani Water Treatment Works. This will return the Hoxani Water Treatment Works to 100% functionality. Two pumps will be functional and one will be on standby and the community of Lilydale and the surrounding areas will receive full normal water supply.
As the pumps are replaced there will be a complete water supply shutdown in the Lilydale area from today (Thursday) to Saturday, 12 May 2012. During the shutdown water tankers will be used to provide water to the community. Communities are urged not to pay for water from water tankers as this water is for free. If they are made to pay for water they must report this to their Ward Councillors.
The municipality supported by COGTA and DWA will also replace two transformers and cables that were stolen from boreholes in Lilydale which lead to the interruption of water supply in the area. This will also increase water supply in the area. The department urges communities to safeguard these transformers and cables from theft as this affects the water supply in the area.
A plan has been agreed upon between the municipality, COGTA, DWA and the community for water supply in Lilydale and the surrounding areas. The plan will be implemented and monitored by all stakeholders including the community.
MEC Masuku has encouraged community leaders and the community at large to engage in dialogue to resolve any dispute. He said this government is a government that has been chosen by the people, remains answerable to them and is at all times willing to engage with them. MEC Masuku will visit the area of Lillydale in Bushbuckridge this Sunday, 13 May 2012.
Cell: 082 413 3931
Issued by: Mpumalanga Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
10 May 2012
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