The African National Congress (ANC) in the Free State says recruiting senior municipal officials without qualifications was counter-productive. It is investigating just how such officials occupy positions of seniority at municipalities.

Several Free State municipalities are hampered by a range of problems. Workers at the Matjhabeng Municipality in Welkom have gone on a rampage over unpaid third parties. They are also demanding answers over unpaid fringe benefits and have vowed to intensify their protests until their demands are met.

“They want third party payments to be made; they will take action against their deployees,” says Free State ANC spokesperson Thabo Meeko.

In Koffiefontein, learning and teaching have not taken place in two months. This has effectively disrupted year-end exams. Residents have protested over water shortages, and they also demand the removal of Mayor Thandiwe Reachable.

Matriculants have been taken to a safe place to write their year-end exams.  “They are engaging with relevant officials to quell tensions in Koffiefontein,” says Meeko.

The ANC has also expressed concern over intra-party conflicts at various municipalities.