National Human Rights Day Commemoration to be held in Koster, in the North West Province

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National Human Rights Day is going to be held in Koster, in the North West Province on Monday under the theme “The year of renewal, protecting and preserving our human gains.”

The town is being run by the Kgetlengrivier Local Municipality  and like many areas across the country, it has its own service delivery challenges.

Koster will be the host of the 2022 National Human Rights Day Commemoration.

The small farming area used to be Bastiaan Koster’s private farm and was proclaimed an official town in 1913.

Local resident Blandina Rabotho says, “Koster is a private land, there was a white man who married at the Botha’s- his surname was Koster. He bought this land from the elders.”

The town is one of three managed by the Kgetleng Rivier Local Municipality. More than a century since its establishment Koster residents are subjected to substandard service delivery.

Sewage spillages, lack of water, bad roads and unemployment are at the order of the day.

A local resident Gankeolela Modise says, “I live in Reagile township. I’ve been living here close to 40 years. What hurts us the most is lack of services. There are also no jobs. Our children are born and bred here, yet they don’t have jobs. We are suffering because we don’t have water, there are no services whatsoever.”

The town made national headlines when the local ratepayers association took over the running of the water and sewage plants after successfully arguing in court that the municipality did not have the necessary capacity to deliver these basic services.

At the time, both the towns of Koster and Swartruggens had serious water shortages and sewage spillages were causing a health concern.

However, the municipality took over the running of the facilities after undertaking to appoint an independent water authority.

The Chairperson of the Kgetlengrivier ratepayers association, Carel van Heerden, says they are challenging this decision.

“We filed the appeal papers at Mmabatho high court to appeal the judge’s decision to hand back the plants to the municipality that has been filed. We are just waiting for the court date, hopefully before the end of march,” says van Heerden.

The National Human Rights Commemorations will be held in the Reagile Informal Settlement with only two thousand people expected to attend in person.

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