Various organisations and bodies from Ficksburg in the Free State have decided to take hands in creating a roads forum. This after they wrote a letter to the Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela, insisting on an urgent meeting with her within 7 days to prevent further action.
In the letter to the Premier that was jointly compiled by all members of the forum, it is clearly stated that the many promises by various civil servants, including the Premier, have not led to the improvement and upgrading of roads in the district.
The forum therefore demands a meeting with the Premier and officials responsible for the maintenance of the district’s roads. The forum also made it clear that any funds allocated for the repair of roads should only be administered by the forum.
President of Free State Agriculture (FSA), Francois Wilken, believes it is a positive development for communities to stand together on the issue. He says that the government will need to take note of communities’ objections, because everyone has a constitutional right to basic services. However, the failure to maintain infrastructure deprives people of this right.
According to a regional representative of FSA, Friedl von Maltitz, the meeting which was attended by members of inter alia FITA (Ficksburg Taxi Association), AFASA, OVK, Setsoto Youth Development, and the Ficksburg Commonage Tenants, decided to establish a forum known as “Sechaba sa Ficksburg”.
Von Maltitz says the farmers are upset about the condition of roads, but they have only now realised how far it also affects the rest of the community.
He further explained that the income of taxi drivers is also in jeopardy, because certain routes are completely impassable.
Last week, a petition with more than 2,000 signatures by residents of Lindley, Petrus Steyn and Arlington broader community was handed over to the office of Free State MEC for Roads, Police and Transport, Sam Mashinini, requesting urgent repairs to the R707.