Schooling and other services have been disrupted for the fourth day at Boikhutsong village outside Ventersdorp in the North West. This as angry community members embark on a service delivery protest.
They are demanding the building of a primary school and a clinic.
The residents say they are forced to walk over seven kilometres to neighbouring Goedgevonden to access a school and health services. Community members have taken to the streets in a bid to get authorities to intervene. They barricaded the R53 road between Ventersdorp and Rustenburg, with stones and other debris.
Services in the village have also been halted.
This has forced people to walk long distances to work. Parents have also prevented children from going to school.
Angry community members have vowed to intensify their protest if their demands are not met.
“We don’t have a clinic. Our parents including us, we must travel about seven to eight kilometers from here to the next village whereby even if when you go there, you will arrive late, at some point you end up not being helped,” says one of the residents.
The provincial health department says it has budgetary constraints and is unable to build a clinic.
“The issue of building a clinic for the community has not been raised in recent times, meaning that it is not in our immediate plans. That being said it doesn’t mean that we cannot meet with the community and see what intervention can be done momentarily. The budget is not enough to build clinics for all communities at once,” says Departmental spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane.
On the other hand, education department spokesperson, Elias Malindi, says the department will start the building of a school within the next six months.
Meanwhile, in the Free State residents of Wesselsbron have also vowed to intensify their protest until their demands are met. The residents are also demanding improved service delivery.
In the video below, Wesselsbron residents voice out their frustrations about what they say is poor service delivery in the Nala Local Municipality:
More than ten people have been arrested for public violence. One of the residents, 29-year-old Mathapelo Mokgosi, stays in an RDP house that was built in 2017.
Mokgosi complains about poor sewer network. “Sewage is coming inside the house when we flush toilets. When it is raining our houses are flooded. This place is not safe.”
Residents also demand better roads, waste collection and job opportunities. “There are no roads, it’s dirty everywhere and the municipality is not helping. We want jobs; the municipality should stop with corruption,” says one of the residents. Authors- Makgala Masiteng and Bafedile Moerane