Chaos erupted at the Bram Fischer Building, headquarters of the Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM) in Bloemfontein, this morning when members of the Mangaung Concerned Community (MCC) went on a rampage and emptied refuse bags in front of the building.
The parking lot, sidewalks and doorways of the Building was barricaded with refuse and litter, further preventing employees from entering the building.
According to one of the MCC members, Lebogang Thena, the idea of the protest is not to be violent, but to fight for the community’s right to basic service delivery, employment for locals and land reform. He said that this has been a two year fight. “We came to close the offices of the municipality, whether they are here or not. No work is being done in the building anyway,” said Thena.
He said the main issue is that they do not get basic services in the township areas. “For example, if you call an ambulance, it only gets to you hours later because the roads are filled with potholes. The potholes have become so common, that we now joke about not being able to avoid them, and you have to pick which one you are willing to hit.
“We want new leaders who will lead us well and be accountable. Most of the administrators and managers are not even from Mangaung. There is very little representation of our people in the management of the Metro,” said Thena.
OFM News reported that members of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) lambasted the Mangaung Metro’s executive mayor and senior management last week.
The committee said in a statement that a meeting to discuss the status quo at the Metro was postponed initially to give the mayor, Mxolisi Siyonzana, and his team time to prepare answers for some of the burning questions. Committee Chair, China Dodovu, said the Metro’s team has shown complete disregard for the work of the committee by attending the sitting unprepared.
Members of Parliament did not take this lightly. They reminded the Metro’s team that the Constitution empowers the committee and the NCOP with the authority to approve the dissolution of the municipality.
Sazly Hartzenberg and Justine Fortuin