No change in Balfour, four years after President Zuma’s promises

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

Note: The following members statement was made by James Masango to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature during its extraordinary sitting in the Thembisile Hani local municipality.

It is almost four years since the Siyathemba township near Balfour was rocked by violent service delivery protests, so much so that it prompted President Jacob Zuma to visit the area and meet with residents and local businesses.

Since that week in August 2009, the Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane established and led a ministerial task team to Balfour, met with municipal and community structures, identified legitimate challenges and concerns raised by communities, and promised that these should be addressed as soon as possible.

In January 2010 the Public Protector started investigations into various complaints of maladministration and poor governance by the municipality and a number of provincial government departments, and made its findings public in March 2012.

Yet, despite all these interventions, life in Siyathemba and the rest of Dipaleseng has not improved, and in many instances, service delivery has worsened.

What has come of President Jacob Zuma’s promises? What has become of the ministerial task team’s findings? And what has become of the quarterly reports former Cogta MEC Masuku, the mayor and the municipal manager to the Public Protector on the implementation of her recommendations?

In fact, the only outcome visible is how President Zuma, the ANC , and the provincial government have failed to implement their own promises, and refuse to be held accountable to Chapter 9 institutions.

Siyathemba and Balfour once again exposes the ANC hypocrisy when it claims to hold the interests of ordinary people at heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *