There’s a new sheriff in town but woes persist in Mogalakwena

Johannesburg – The Mogalakwena municipality is once again on the precipice of collapse, with service delivery protests by angry residents confirming the problems gripping the council is far from over.

The local municipality has been on the brink of complete political meltdown following years of factional fighting over corruption among ANC leaders.

Political ructions have been fought through the courts while key community leaders have been killed.

On Monday, former mayor Andrina Matsemela appeared in the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court facing a litany of corruption charges.

She was arrested in August last year along with deputy corporate manager, Jabu Mashamaite and other senior officials.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in Limpopo Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the incidents of corruption involving about R15-million took place between 2016 and 2019.

This week, Matome Moremi-Taueatsoala, the spokesperson for the ANC in the Waterberg region, said the party is optimistic that the municipality will be resurrected.

“We have deployed capable comrades to rescue the municipality from its financial woes. The current administration is fit for this purpose,” he said.

The municipality has been placed under administration.

The tensions at Mogalakwena are emblematic of much wider social and political fraying points.

The R38-million Moshate Sports Complex, where construction began six years ago, is less than a quarter finished and most funding has vanished.

The complex is now a meeting point for criminals and nyoape addicts.

The DA said its calls to punish officials implicated in illicit transactions related to the complex fell on deaf ears.

Moremi-Taueatsoala said the party was working with law enforcement to recoup the money lost through corruption.

To get through the town of Mokopane from Mahwelereng, motorists need extra caution and patience on the Dudu Madisha Street.

So bad is the road network that recently a funeral undertaker refused to transport a corpse to the graveyard fearing the bumpy road would damage his hearse.

The recurring explosion of the sewerage system poses a serious health hazard as human excrement is a common feature overflowing on the streets.

Chronic water shortage and “load reduction” are also daily occurrences.

While there is a new sheriff in town, there is no overwhelming aura of euphoria.

Mayor Ngoako Taueatsoala has inherited a huge infrastructure backlog, enough to last him a lifetime.

He has, however, asked MEC for public works, roads and infrastructure Namane Masemola to deal with the dire road infrastructure.

“We are going to provide services to our people. Since taking office, there are a few service delivery challenges which we have already started to address.

The rehabilitation of major roads and other streets is currently under way and we hope to complete these projects as soon as possible,” Taueatsoala said.

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