Residents of hung Limpopo municipalities call on new administration to prioritise service delivery

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Residents in the hung Modimolle-Mokgophong Local Municipality in Limpopo are calling upon the new administration to prioritise service delivery. They say political parties should put aside their political differences and serve the people.  

Modimolle-Mookgophong and the Thabazimbi Local municipalities in the Waterberg District, are the only hung municipalities in the province.  

The two hung municipalities in Limpopo that have been under the DA-led coalitions since 2016, have produced similar results in last Monday’s elections. The coalitions included the EFF, Freedom Front Plus and Thabazimbi Residents Assocition. The ANC has failed to get outright majority in Modimolle-Mookgopong and Thabazimbi, and they will remain under coalitions.   

Residents from Modimolle say want the incoming administration to prioritise water provision.

“Our municipality is not taking care of us. As Hawkers selling here on the streets, we don’t have proper shelter to sell. We also need toilets,” says one of the residents. 

“I have been staying in a shack since 1998 and I have been voting in every elections, but still I don’t have an RDP house,” says another resident.

“We are just asking for water. We buy everything here and we cannot afford to buy water. We are asking the government to provide us with water, please,” says another resident.

William Matlou says high unemployment rate in Modimolle is affecting the youth negatively. He says the Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality must built a drug rehabilitation centre to assist youth who are abusing drugs.

“Our municipality is not helping us here. There’s lot of nepotism. We are asking the government to assist us with rehabs, so that we can continue with our normal lives. On the other hand, there are lot of burst sewages pipes and this is affecting the lives of the people and children.”

Modimolle-Mookgophong was established in 2016 by merging the Modimolle and Mookgophong local municipalities.  

The ANC needs at least one and half a percentage to govern the municipality through a coalition.   

The overall results of the DA, EFF, FF Plus and other parties combined, do not reach the required 51% threshold, as they are also half a percentage short.  

DA leader in Limpopo, Desiree Van Der Walt says the party will not go into a coalition with the ANC.   

She says they will, however, support any council resolution that benefits the residents.

“We are not going into a coalition with our opponents now and our opponent is the ANC, the only election they were our opponent. But, if the ANC, for example, comes up with a great water plan to any community in any village or in town to give that community water and it’s all above board, then obviously we will support that item.”

The ANC is sitting at 47% in the Thabazimbi Local Municipality, also found in the Waterberg District. 

Party Spokesperson in Limpopo, Donald Selamolela says the ANC will not enter into a coalition for the sake of being in power, but to build better communities.

“When you deal with coalition, you need to centralise the discussion, so that you identify colleagues or partners that you’re going to work with who understand your development trajectory to understand how we want to move the society forward several things.”

Political analyst, Elvis Masoga, says the hung municipalities are a reflection of a clear message from the voters. He says political parties must self-introspect and keep their promises in future.

“You find a situation whereby the electorate become confused, because they thought they are running away from Elvis to another person, but only to find that maybe the other person is as bad as Elvis or even is worse than Elvis. So, I think it’s a moment of confusion, but at the end of the day, it’s all about service delivery.”

The clock is ticking for municipalities to meet and form a coalition in both Modimolle-Mookgophong and Thabazimbi Local Municipalities, as there’s no outright winner.  

In terms of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act, a municipal council must meet within 14 days, from the day the IEC declares the final results to begin their work.