FF Plus to approach COGTA amidst Bethal falling apart

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CONTENT SUPPLIED

11 August 2020

Govan Mbeki Local Municipality, which comprises Bethal, Charl Cilliers, Embalenhle, Evander, Kinross, Leandra, Secunda and Trichardt, has become unmanageable due to the great number of towns that have to be provided with services by this municipality.

Media Statement - The FF Plus in Mpumalanga has initiated a process to have Bethal, which is burdened with poor service delivery and a general lack of maintenance, established as a smaller, more manageable municipal unit. Govan Mbeki Local Municipality, which comprises Bethal, Charl Cilliers, Embalenhle, Evander, Kinross, Leandra, Secunda and Trichardt, has become unmanageable due to the great number of towns that have to be provided with services by this municipality. For this reason, the FF Plus will send official letters to the provincial MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mandla Msibi, and to the Municipal Demarcation Board requesting, in terms of the Municipal Structures and Municipal Demarcation Acts, that the relevant municipal borders must be redefined so that Bethal can start functioning as a smaller, independent municipality. Bethal is being treated like an unwanted stepchild by Govan Mbeki Local Municipality, and the town's loyal taxpayers have no access to proper service delivery.

During a recent visit to Bethal, it was evident that no attempts are made to address the various problems experienced in the town. Since 28 January 2020, the two large pump stations are pumping sewage into the Blesbokspruit (a tributary that flows into the Vaal River) after another pump was removed and was never repaired or replaced. The Bethal Dam, which was previously used for water sports, is polluted with sewage and people have been warned not to make use of the water source. In some areas, live electric wires are exposed and overground cables are being used underground, which, according to some sources, contributes to the frequent power outages that last up to 18 hours. In the FF Plus's view, a smaller and more locally focused local government system is the answer to poor service delivery. The ANC government has proven time and again that bigger budgets only lead to more mismanagement, theft and corruption and less service delivery for taxpayers.

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