Service delivery protests in the North West province continue to negatively impact schooling. Six schools in Ga-Khunwana village in Mahikeng have been closed for over two weeks now while in Ga-Taote village near Taung, five schools have been shut down by protesting residents.
The communities, who have threatened to boycott elections, say they will not back down until government brings change. Residents believe the destruction is the only way to have their voices heard. They are demanding basic services like water, a satellite police station, a road as well as RDP houses.
Community member, Lesego Diseko says, “I feel like I could go and vote, but the government hasn’t worked for us so I don’t know what to say about going to vote because they haven’t worked for us. Since I registered for an RDP [house] a long time ago, it still hasn’t come.”
In Ga-Taote village, residents say they’re tired of empty promises.
“Our ward counsellor is not even coming to the community. So we are just saying until our demands are met, of which one of those demands is a bridge and the high mask lights, now we are saying come and give us something before we vote,” says a disgruntled resident, Lesego Berent.
The provincial government is expected to visit the communities next week. The North West Premier’s Spokesperson, Vuyisile Ngezi says the provincial administration under the leadership of Premier Job Mokgoro is aware of the upheavals in Ga-Khunwana and all other areas in the province. The premier has taken a very progressive decision to go and engage with representatives of the Tswaing local municipality as well as the Kgosi in Ga-Khunwana and the community in order to find lasting solutions to problems that the community facing that has caused upheavals.
Communities of the Greater Taung and Tswaing local municipalities have stood firm and are adamant that if change or services don’t come their way, no voting shall take place come election day.
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