DA calls on provincial government to intervene in Marikana, Ladybrand

James Letuka

DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The DA in the Free State calls on the Free State Provincial Government to intervene in the Mantsopa Local Municipality to restore peace and order.

 

During our visit to Ladybrand today, the situation in Manyatseng was calm, but remains volatile.

 

Our visit follows days of violence and protest action by the Manyetseng community, against the Executive Mayor, Dennis Ntsepe, for initially evicting people of the Marikana informal settlement two weeks ago.

 

The evictions did not comply with the Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (Act No 19 of 1998). The municipality failed to inform residents of the pending evictions and failed to make alternative land for resettlement available.

 

The evictions aggravated the community who have been forced to endure poor to non-existent service delivery and socio-economic issues that come with poor economic prospects and high unemployment.

 

While we understand the community’s frustration with Mayor Ntsepe and the disregard the ANC-led council have for the wellbeing of the people, the DA cannot under any circumstances condone the wilful destruction of property.

 

The DA calls on the community to remain calm.

 

DA councillors in the Mantsopa Local Municipality have been engaging community leaders trying to negotiate a solution to resort to peaceful protest.

 

The violent protests have seen businesses closed for two days and are set to remain closed until 01 April 2015. This negatively impacts on the community’s ability to access goods and services and further hampers the municipality’s economic outlook.

 

We have repeatedly called on GOGTA MEC Olly Mlamaleli to intervene in poor performing municipalities like Mantsopa to no avail. The failure by senior ANC leaders in government to intervene in such volatile situations show that they either do not have the political clout to take action against poor performing mayors or that they just don’t care about the wellbeing of the people.

 

The DA maintains that the surest way to hold government to account is to use the power of the vote. In 2016 the Mantsopa community will have an opportunity to reject the ANC’s poor governance for the effective governance of the DA.