Focusing on the state of our city

This picture displays the lack of service that will hopefully be address during the Public Service Month. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

Waste management, sewerage leaks, potholes, public health, and the long-awaited opening of the bridge and road in the south of Bloemfontein. These are some of the pressing issues residents in the city have had to deal with this year.

Bloemfontein Courant spoke to the various stakeholders in the city to find what the state of the city is in their respective departments and here is what some of them had to say.

The Acting HOD of Solid Waste and Fleet Management, Francois Nel, said the current challenge of sporadic waste management will still be a problem during the current financial year. “We are strengthening our communication to ensure that complaints relating to waste management are escalated through the responsible managers and timelessly addressed. We are finalising the festive season schedule to properly communicate the operations to the public in the next week.”

A heap of dirt in the CBD. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

The MEC of Police, Roads, and Transport, William Bulwane, stated that the Free State is supposed to be pothole-free within a six month time frame. According to spokesperson Hillary Mophethe, there have been a few challenges but through a mitigation process some have been alleviated to meet the said deadline.

“Through the operation, many general workers, operators, and foremen have been appointed to deal with the shortage of human resources that we faced in the beginning. In terms of material, 24 service providers have been appointed and some orders have been received while other areas are awaiting delivery. With regards to yellow fleet and equipment, we hold monthly meetings with fleet management for the replacement of old equipment and yellow fleet.”

Double trouble as sewage fills a pothole. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

Centlec spokesperson, Lele Mamatu, said 2022 has been a difficult year for the power utility with the challenges of bouncing back from lockdown. “It had an impact on our revenue streams, unnecessary delays in the finalisation and implementation of electrification projects, loss of staff members due to Covid-19, and the current scenarios of load-shedding in the country,” he said.

Mamatu said load-shedding has played a big role in the power cuts the city has been experiencing as it has an impact on services and equipment which has cost the institution millions, as they were unable to sell electricity or offer other services during that time. “Our staff component, management, including labour unions remain committed to the ultimate goal of keeping the lights burning within Mangaung and other areas where we offer our services,” he said.

Centlec says that load-shedding has played a role in power cuts. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

Mamatu is hopeful that the coming year will bring improvements and developments from national departments that will lessen the burden locally.

Bulk water supplier Bloem Water’s Maruping Rapudungoane said they will not be able to comment on the matter of infrastructure, pipe bursts, and developments for the coming year. However, spokesperson for the Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM), Qondile Khedama said they are currently working on a plan for the water leakages in the metro. He added that the metro is inundated with sewerage blockages because of the age of underground infrastructure.

“The current intervention team has come up with a plan, however, the plan needs assistance from National Treasury as it amounts to R8 billion. The plan also needs to be approached in phases. We will only be able to deal with sewage spillages and water leaks when we have convinced Treasury to intervene.”

Commenting on the road and bridge in the south of Bloemfontein, Khedama said it is ready for public use. “All that is left is things such as the pedestrian crossing and street lights, but the Executive Mayor of Mangaung, Mxolisi Siyonzana, will soon officially open the road.”

The MMM says that the road will be opening soon. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

Bloemfontein Courant reached out to the Department of Health, but at the time of print, they could not comment.

News Team