Community Environment News

TCLM Habits and Hobbies

Michele du Plessis

In the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality Integrated Development Plan for 2017 – 2022 Term, the Executive Mayor at the time of this document’s release, Cllr S Mashigo-Sekgobela, said: “The law requires us to have this strategic plan which is the only plan that drives planning, development and budget decisions in a municipality.” She acknowledges the multitude of problems experienced by TCLM, as well as the lack of communication.

“Communication between the leadership and its electorate should be regularised and enhanced in an endeavour to correct perceptions and close any vacuum that could be created as a result of muteness. I am prompted to say this because the ANC organisation, in general, is experiencing a voter decline in various municipalities in the country due to poor planning and implementation of IDPs, which results in poor service delivery and slow development,  and our municipality is not immune to this,” Mashigo-Sekgobela said in the foreword of the IDP.

“It should become a habit and hobby to constantly communicate with the people and highlight all challenges that we may encounter in the execution of our mandate, and further elucidate on our achievements as government at whatever in our various departments. No vacuum should be allowed in the course of duty, be it the political representatives or public servants. We should never be shy to explain.” (sic)

The following is some of the issues noted:

Page 29 shows that “patching of potholes” is necessary for Old Lydenburg Road.

All “7.8km” of the Old Lydenburg road is causing numerous problems. Not only are the residents that stay alongside this road complaining of extreme dust pollution, but it is also a tourist route to some of our waterfalls and tourist attractions. With the state that this road is in, tourists prefer not to drive on this road. Patching of potholes will not suffice in this case. Rebuilding the road is needed. “There is no mention of Knoppiesdoring and Virgilia (the latter has a “donga” nearly half a metre deep!),” Captain Rees, Chairman of the Sabie Ratepayers Association said.

Page 37: Sabie water system: “Here the yield of the current source is not under immediate threat. It is on the infrastructure where investment will have to be made. There’s already a number of projects lined up to address the above-mentioned point. These are some of them: Water link pipelines to Ext 10 and Sawmill Crossing; Sabie New pump and Gravity pipeline for Harmony Hill; New Rising Main to Tweefontein reservoirs. These coupled with the replacement of asbestos in the network will suffice in bringing stability in the water supply of the area for the foreseeable future.” “I know that Richard, Jeff and others in the SRA “Water Group” would strongly disagree with the statement of a stable water supply,” Captain Rees said.  Furthermore, he added that although a new PVC pipeline had been installed in Mount Anderson, leading to the steel reservoir in Huilboom Street, the pumps cannot push to that height to supply water to it and it has remained completely empty since it was installed over two years ago.

Page 53: Sabie landfill site: “Reached capacity and not well located next to a residential area (licensed for closure): At times the landfill site is set alight and the air pollution {smoke and stench} is a real cause for concern. “Nothing has been done to achieve this.  Interestingly, the EIA of the proposed Industrial Development in Klein Sabie does not take this into account?” Captain Rees asked.

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