EFF says Ramaphosa’s Limpopo imbizo won’t eradicate pit toilets

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders in Limpopo believe President Cyril Ramaphosa’s imbizo in Sekhukhune was nothing but a 2024 election campaign that will not change the lives of rural schoolchildren who still use pit toilets.

The presidential imbizo took place at the Motodi Sports Complex at Ga-Motodi Village in the Sekhukhune area on Friday.

“There’s nothing special about a presidential visit except that it is another waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The president has officially launched the ANC’s campaign for 2024. The EFF is not surprised that such a move has nothing to do with the real issues facing the people of Sekhukhune but is all about creatively bribing our grannies with food and blankets as part of their campaign strategy.

“After nearly 30 years of democracy, we have schools in Sekhukhune whose learners still depend on pit toilets for relief, and this is normal in the eyes of the president.

“Why is the presidency not reviewing all the imbizos previously held in Sekhukhune?” asked EFF Sekhukhune regional chairperson Ali Maloba.

Maloba said children still had to trek several kilometres to school due to corruption within the scholar transport tender system. “Scholar transport continues to be a thorny issue. Where buses are made available to learners, they turn out not to be roadworthy. Some service level agreements were signed late into the year, forcing some children to only start going to school towards the end of the second term.

“Then we also have teacher assistants whose contracts lapsed in February. To date, they are all struggling to access their Unemployment Insurance Fund benefits and they are continually being sent from pillar to post,” Maloba said.

According to the EFF, schoolchildren in Sekhukhune were being subjected to the scourge of gender-based violence, whether directly or indirectly.

“Cases of gender-based violence are on the rise in Sekhukhune and the government of the day, including the president, continue to turn a blind eye. Last week, a woman was murdered by her boyfriend in Elias Motsoaledi Moteti Slovo and the suspect was seen
loitering the street freely. The police seem to be less interested in the case, and this is happening in front of all these children in the area.

“Another form of violence being unleashed on our people is the issue of access to social grants, or the lack thereof.

“Our pensioners, who usually care for their grandchildren, are the ones who are badly affected, especially in the deep rural villages, where most communities still depend on the Post Office for grant payments,” said Maloba.

“For the past few months, elderly people were badly affected when the Post Office closed and no one is saying anything, including the presidency. Pensioners are now forced to travel distances in order to access their monthly grants. Is this the freedom they have fought for?”

Maloba said most of the people living in Sekhukhune still shared water with animals while millions are wasted on projects that are never completed. “These are ghost projects. In Moutse alone, we have two multi-million-rand projects running concurrently. The first one is the R137-million drought relief intervention project, which is still incomplete. We thought relief should have a time frame.

“We also have the Nkangala Bulk Water project, which no one is willing to account for in terms of the monies spent.

“There has been corruption on Mooihoek Tubatse Bulk supply retention certificates and payment certificates not talking the same language. The EFF is actively doing everything possible to hold those responsible accountable,” said Maloba.

“Corruption on Lebalelo South connector pipes and reticulations, the district municipality has failed to monitor the expenditure on this project, where millions have been spent but the project remains incomplete.

“Instead of repeating imbizos, the president should demand reports of service delivery projects and do inspection to check if our people have services.”

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