Rustenburg is the most populous municipality in the North West with mining as the main economic activity. But the local authority has been lambasted for poor service delivery.
Communities in various wards across the municipality are unhappy with on-going sewage spillages, constant water cuts, a lack of basic services, particularly in informal settlements, and wasteful expenditure.
The Rustenburg local municipality has 45 wards. And, residents complain about poor service delivery. The Rustenburg municipality is constantly accused of failure to carry out its constitutional mandate.
Rustenburg has many informal settlements, with some having been formalised. One of them is Reutlwile, near Zanniaville. Although formalised, there’s no municipal footprint in the area.
Residents feel ignored and neglected by the Rustenburg local municipality.
“Reutlwile area has since been approved by the municipality but there are no services.”
“There are dumping sites that are just next to us here in Reutlwile. There is no electricity,” says one of the residents.
The municipality’s budgeting priorities and spending are also in question. During the 2019/2020 financial year, the municipality procured eight buses, which are yet to be used. The buses are still parked and their batteries are alleged to have been stolen.
The resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, says “The municipality bought buses which they introduced to us. Those buses are gathering dust, batteries are stolen. We went to check as community members as to what is happening to those buses, some of them don’t even have batteries.”
The municipality is also alleged to have removed a pavement that was installed during the 2010/2011 financial year. Driving around Tlhabane township, at Ward 10, the SABC News team saw the pavement bricks, stacked and left next to yards of different houses. 84-year old Lorah Molefe, is one of the residents, whose paving was removed, and never restored.
“They removed the paving and never came back. Even the pipes that they put in, the new pipes, we are suffering because most of the time there is no water. Those old pipes were much better. We have never suffered like we are suffering now,” says Molefe.
Regardless of the 30 million rand that was allocated for water and electricity during the Budget Adjustment in March 2021 communities say sanitation upkeep is dire.
The Rustenburg Municipality did not respond when contacted for comment.