Manguang Metro have finally delivered results. This, as members of the Public Employment Programme (PEP) were seen cutting the grass and cleaning up at the Heather Heights Cemetery, Heidedal, as well as the South Park Cemetery. This follows the launch of the ANC’s Letsema clean-up campaign, which plans to bring much needed revival to the Metro.
Bloemfontein Courant previously reported that DA councillor Mokgadi Kganakga expressed dissatisfaction at the state of cemeteries in Mangaung. The Metro’s spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, confirmed that the Municipality was responsible for the current clean-up operation.
Upon arrival at Heather Heights Cemetery and South Park Cemetery, Bloemfontein Courant saw many PEP members cleaning the cemetery. Speaking to one member, who asked to remain anonymous, she stated that they started cleaning up last week; however, rain had interrupted their work on occasion.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his speech at Toka Primary School in Turflaagte during his recent visit to the Metro, explained that the Letsema campaign would lead to a cleaner City of Roses and would restore the Metro to its former glory. The ANC’s intention to clean up the country comes two years ahead of the 2024 national elections.
ANC councillor Logan Kruger of ward 16 in Heidedal said that she was happy that the project to clean up the cemeteries had begun, as she believed that graveyards were sentimental places for the community, and she was delighted that the Municipality had heeded residents’ calls. She added, “This is the project that speaks to the community.”
Kruger further explained that although Heather Heights Cemetery did not form part of her ward, she believed in lending a hand where possible as people from her ward had loved ones who were buried in the Cemetery. “Twenty-nine members from each ward were selected to form part of the PEP workers, which include people from my ward.”
At present it is unclear if other cemeteries in and around Mangaung will also be cleaned up. Kganakga said that the Bloemspruit graveyards needed urgent attention as they had been flooded with the recent rain. “The graveyards are literally sinking. It’s bad enough having to bury a loved one, but to do it under those circumstances is awful.” Kganakga did however add that ward councillors with graveyards in their wards regularly offered solutions to maintain them.
In the past, residents also expressed dissatisfaction over the state of the South Park Cemetery, as people had started dumping garbage outside it.
Corn Koteli & Justine Fortuin