By Kingsol Chabalala MPL, DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Emfuleni North:
The financially bankrupt, Emfuleni Local Municipality’s inaction when it comes to service delivery has now tragically lead to the drowning of a 12 year old child.
The child drowned at the abandoned bridge construction site of Zone 7 Sebokeng. (Click here for photos of the site)
This project was intended to bring a tar road and a bridge to Zone 7, but was abandoned by the contractor who left a massive hole in the middle of the road.
This hole has not been covered or cordoned off by the municipality and there are no warning signs or lighting at the site.
DA Councillor Langa Radebe has been petitioning the Emfuleni municipality to cover the hole, but no action has been taken by officials to date.
The hole subsequently filled up with water and the 12 year old fell in yesterday and drowned.
This tragedy and the neglect by the municipality is nothing short of criminal.
In June, two females drowned in similar incidences in other areas and another two children lost their lives after falling into open manholes in Emfuleni.
The DA has raised before that the Emfuleni municipality is bankrupt. It is clear it is unable to deliver services and is not able to pay contractors working on projects in the municipality.
We again urgently call on the Gauteng Provincial Government to start the process to place the Emfuleni municipality under administration.
I will be visiting the family of the child as soon as the body has been identified to share my condolences and offer the DA’s support.
I will submit questions regarding this project to Gauteng MEC For Human Settlements And Co-Operative Governance And Traditional Affairs Jacob Mamabolo asking him to urgently request information from the Emfuleni municipality on the abandoned bridge project in Zone 7. Most importantly, who the contractor was, why the contractor abandoned the project and why the municipality has failed cover the massive hole to date.
It is critical that urgent action be taken to make this site safe, so that we prevent similar tragedies occurring in the future.