Security has been beefed up at the main office of Mangaung Metro municipality following the invasion of the municipal offices by angry members of a local business forum. They are demanding improvement in service delivery.
The municipality says there have also been attacks on municipal employees recently. This has resulted in the withdrawal of its fleet for refuse collection. Refuse collection appears to have ground to a halt in Bloemfontein.
Residents have been confronted by heaps of uncollected waste lining the streets for weeks now.
Many have lost hope that the situation will improve anytime soon.
“It’s dirty everywhere, no refuse collection and the projects are never finished. If corruption can be addressed, we would have better services, our streets are terrible,” says one resident.
The municipality says it had to withdraw its fleets as some employees were attacked and that has tampered with the refuse collection schedule.
Mangaung Metro Municipal Spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, says the attacks have also caused a delay in some road construction projects.
“In the last few weeks, we’ve encountered attacks in our offices and as a result that tampered with service delivery. So, we have beefed up our security and we have earlier talked to these individuals we are encouraging them to talk in one voice. But we’ve since realised that and the city is committed to negotiations and engagements with them,” adds Khedama.
Business people are also feeling the pinch. Businessman, Thabo Ramarumo, says: “This is a huge inconvenience on the business, we had to cut some employees even their salary because now the business is slow due this construction.”
The municipality says it has deployed more private security to protect state property. It is also investigating recent attacks on its offices.