Placing municipalities under administration is not having the desired effect in the North West. That is according to some residents, observers and political analysts. The provincial government placed seven more municipalities under administration.

The other eight were placed under administration last year. Residents say there is no improvement in service delivery.

A municipality in disarray, the Ditsobotla Local Municipality was stripped of its powers in September last year. Backlogs in service delivery were one of the reasons cited.

Eight months later, businessmen say this part of Lichtenburg, called Burgersdorp, is slowly becoming a ghost town. They say the dilapidated road scares off clients with a likelihood of businesses closing and job shedding.

“People refuse to drive this road. People don’t want come to our business anymore, because the road is too bad. So, they would rather go to somebody else. So, at the end of the day we’re losing customers and business,” says business owner Ivan Luis.

Another business owner Gerrit Olivier says; “There is no maintenance from the municipality, no maintenance at all from Ditsobotla Municipality. All they can do is talk.

The business owners say their businesses have suffered losses. “Since the last two years, my business has dropped to between R1.5 and R2 million rand and it’s really been very bad. Our problem is the main road that hasn’t been fixed and it’s just dust every day,” says Johnny De Melim .

A stone’s throw away in Blydeville Township, there are illegal dumping sites, sewage flowing on the streets and roads are in disrepair. Locals say the intervention is yet to bring change.

“Since government put this municipality under administration, I don’t see any changes,” says resident Johanna Balemogi.

Another resident Grace Modise says; “We have a problem of sewage flowing in our yard. Currently I have two people who are infected by TB.”

In justifying its decision, government says the approach will be different now, while acknowledging setbacks in its approach. “Yes, you are right that there has not been progress in terms of interventions. But, if you look back, the intervention that has been made now lately, we are actually not bringing only the administrator as an individual, as a person. We are putting together intervention teams,” says Local Government MEC Matlalepula Rosho.

Of the 21 local and district municipalities, 15 have been placed under administration. However, analysts say this is a clear indication of a failing local government. Click below for more on the story: