A memorandum of demands to reverse Tlokwe-Ventersdorp merger delivered to President Ramaphosa

Venterdorp residents march for the reversal of the merger

Ventersdorp residents braved the cold on Monday to deliver their memorandum to the ANC chief whip of the J.B. Marks Municipality.

They are demanding the reversal of the Ventersdorp-Tlokwe merger, which, they say, is not the land of milk and honey they were promised.
Although  Mpho Matsapola accepted the document on behalf of the municipality, the memorandum has reached the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to Khuduga Dibe, a community leader, the recommendation is for the State President to deploy a team from his office on a fact-finding mission and interact with the stakeholders of Venterdorp within seven days.

Reversal of the merger within six months
‘The remedial action and reversal of the merger must be implemented as speedily as possible, within six months,’ said Khuduga.
Another community leader, Naledi Rampa, signed the memorandum that contains a number of allegations. One is that the North West ANC provincial executive committee had messed up by expelling 11 ANC councillors in Tlokwe who wanted to take the mayor to task for corruption. The ANC wanted the merger to go ahead because ‘Tlokwe was slipping away from ANC rule following the outfall.’

The Ventersdorp residents also argue that there was never any public participation process to hear their views or even explain to the Ventersdorp community the reasons behind the merger.
Another important reason was the many service delivery failures following the merger.

‘All the promises of delivery failed without any explanation from either the local politicians or the premier and his MECs (members of the executive committee).
‘In January, four communities – Boikhutsong, Goedgevonden, Tshing Ext. 4 and 11 – were without clean running water for almost a month because of resolvable infrastructure problems like broken pipes that could have been fixed in five hours. Instead, it took almost a month to fix and replace, after serious protests,’ he said.


Water, sewerage and electricity – are currently running beyond capacity
The other complaints included local projects that were meant for Venterdorp residents but only benefitted Tlokwe SMMEs (small, medium and micro-enterprises).
He added that ‘all three major infrastructure services – water, sewerage and electricity – are currently running beyond capacity’. This means that there is no surplus and that certain areas will soon not be covered. The future infrastructure project list does not cater either for water or electricity. ‘That can be verified by the IDP (integrated development plan) document,’ said Khuduga.
Despite numerous actions and engagements with the relevant departments to address all the issues since 2016, Khuduga says nothing has been resolved.
The community is expected to receive feedback by next week

Also read: Ventersdorp residents want big guns to kill merger


Selogile Leshage

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