Rural Lesseyton an ‘afterthought’ to local government

Picture: ZINTLE BOBELO

The desperate cry for better service delivery continues to ripple through local communities, with only about a week left before residents cast their votes at the long-awaited local government elections on November 1.

Water provision, adequate electricity supply and improved water and sanitation services were some of the burning issues that residents of Lesseyton felt needed to be addressed by the incoming councillor for ward 18, who will be given the responsibility of representing the area.

Speaking to The Rep, Thembile Waxa said the state of the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality was not improving in terms of service delivery. “We still do not know what was tabled in the integrated development plan (IDP) in the past five years. Our outgoing councillor did not once call a meeting to discuss IDP processes. We have a crisis because Lesseyton is now a residential area and historically, there used to be farms in this area. There seems to be tension between subsistence farmers and non-farmers. The incoming councillor should intervene in the matter to help create social cohesion.”

Waxa said community members once wrote a letter to Eskom to look into the issue of electricity. “We requested the public utility to install higher voltage on transformers due to the expanding population in the area. We also experience network problems during an electricity outage. When people were instructed to work from home due to rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, some relocated and others returned to their home towns from big cities. It was a challenge for them because Lesseyton has a network issue which is something that needs serious attention.”

Another resident, Tutu Ralane, added that taps were dry despite the free basic water policy. “How do we deal with that on an ongoing basis? The issue of sanitation, electricity and water, the poor state of roads is highly problematic. We have become an afterthought as people living in rural areas,” he said.

 

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