Maimane will be joined by a delegation of DA public representatives and the party’s candidate for the by-elections set to take place on 28 August. The group is expected to address the public at the Boiketlo Sports Field in Phuthaditjhaba at around midday following a door-to-door session.
The by-elections come on the back of the expulsion of 16 African National Congress (ANC) Councillors who are accused of defying the party’s provincial leadership and voting with the opposition to elect Gilbert Mokotso as Vusi Tshabalala’s replacement. It has been revealed the councillors will be contesting the August 28 by-elections as independent candidates. The municipality has been without the councillors, for more than a year as a result. This political instability has been noted by provincial government as a major factor in the ongoing dysfunction at the financially strained municipality.
The municipality is facing yet another water crisis this year over low dam levels. According to an alert from the municipality, residents in Qwaqwa , which includes Phuthaditjhaba and 12 surrounding villages are facing water interruptions due to the fact the Fiko Patso Dam which supplies water to more than 80% of Qwaqwa has reportedly run dry. The municipality says jojo tanks will be deployed to the affected areas. No indication to as to when the tanks will be deployed.
In February 2019, the water situation in Qwaqwa made national headlines when it was revealed residents had allegedly been without water for months on end. Assistant Administrator at Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, Solly Motingoe, told OFM News at the time that in such instances, when the water level at the dam is very low, then it has to be pumped, using a booster pump to get to where it is needed. The municipality’s booster pump was broken and the financial constraints made it difficult for it to get fixed.
OFM News/Olebogeng Motse