Masakaneng residents embark on fierce service delivery protest

MASAKANENG – Residents of Masakaneng settlement outside Groblersdal within the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality once again took to the streets in protest against lack of service delivery in the area on Monday, 19 October 2020.

The residents of portion 69 in the area barricaded the N11 road linking Groblersdal and Marble Hall towns with burning tyres and other items, rendering the area ungovernable as they attempted to get attention of the authorities to attend to their service delivery concerns.

Portion 69 in Masakaneng settlement currently accommodates over 1500 households with a nearby portion having received electrical infrastructure.

According to residents the stumbling block for them to receive services was that the area was privately owned and all attempts made in the past to reach consensus with the owner yielded no positive results hence they resorted to embarking on a protest action on Monday.

Alpheus Nkadimeng, a community leader, said the residents of portion 69 were concerned that in the past two years, the response of the municipality over their lack of service delivery had not been satisfactory.

Nkadimeng said the residents resolved to take a stand because they were not content with responses that the community leaders provided them after several meetings with the local municipality.

BPSA leader in Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality council, Seun Mogotji, said as the party they requested the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to intervene in the matter as it could be amicably resolved if the Minister could come down and establish communication with the land owner.

Mogotji said there was a need to see to it that consensus was reached on the matter of ownership of the privately owned land in the best interest of the community of portion 69 in Masakaneng settlement.

“As community leaders we have tried to calm the situation down but we have no control over people’s emotions and what drastic actions they might embark on to get attention of the authorities and ultimately, have their grievances addressed. All that they want is simple basic services that the land owner is denying them for some unfathomable reasons known only to him. We hope that the honourable minister will be of assistance in this regard,” concluded Mogotji.

Simon Makua, EMLM Public Relations and Communications Manager, said there are two portions in Masakaneng, portion 13 and portion 69.

Makua said portion 13 belonged to the local municipality and that portion 69 was privately owned, which made it a challenge for the municipality to develop without consent from its owner.

“We will meet with community leaders of portion 69 on Friday to find resolutions. It is a challenge for us as a municipality to develop areas that do not belong to us. There are other areas facing the same challenge,” said Makua.   

Thapelo Motseo

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