Angry residents halt controversial Mangaung IPTN

The controversial Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) Hauweng project, marred by complaints from local residents, is once again under scrutiny with angry Bloemfontein local residents forcing road construction workers off-site.

Residents say this after the municipality and local councillor failed to reply to their demands on the newly established IPTN Hauweng project.

A group leader tells OFM News that the municipality and the councillor are not showing a sense of transparency in the matter and they feel disrespected. He says the project has deliberately excluded the unemployed youth in the area and the ones who are hired are allegedly those who have romantic relationships with relevant people in the project.

He says the project will not continue as long as their issues are not addressed and he also vowed to march to the office of the local site contractor. The municipality is yet to respond.

OFM News previously reported the Mangaung Business Transformation Umbrella (Mabtu), which include the Foko Motlatsi Phillimon (FMP) Contractors, occupied the front entrance to the Free State High Court on June 2019 in support of a fellow contractor who dragged the metro to court over the IPTN.

The chairperson of Mabtu, Mzwandile Phaphu, told OFM News that the contract designated for revamping and refurbishing the old M10 and Moshoeshoe Road is flawed and was awarded to illegitimate people.

He alleged that contractors from Mpumalanga and Gauteng, with a score of at least 37 below the possible score of 100, have been given contracts while locals with the capacity and full points are being overlooked by the metro.

Some workers were seen leaving the construction site with fear of being attacked by these angry residents.

On Tuesday, disgruntled taxi operators in Bloemfontein brought chaos to the streets of the city centre, protesting against the Interstate Bus Lines.

These operators told OFM News that they have been treated unfairly by the traffic officials and feels targeted.

One of the operators, who opted to remain anonymous, said law enforcement agencies only impound their vehicles and ignore the buses from this company.

He said for years they have been pleading with relevant structures in the local and provincial government to help deal with their issues but their cries have not been attended. – Lucky Nkuyane/OFM News