The Department of Public Works, Road and Infrastructure has been fingered as a contributor to the poor state of D4200 road in Burgersfort.
After re-gravelled only 200 metres of the D4220 road, the bulldozer operator allegedly lied to the people of Burgersfort that it is broken.
But when senior project manager, Regina Mathobela gave a report to the community she said the operator was on annual leave.
This was a contradiction to the report of the operator.
“Currently we don’t have an operator for the Dozer. Possibly we will be able to start the first week of December when the operator is available,” Regina said, when she was asked why the project was completely stopped only a week of its inception.
Under spotlight places includes Tjate, Masehleng, Modimolle, Diphale, Mongatane, Ditobeleng, Moroke, Seroka, Ga-Phaahla, Mashilabela, Mohlaletse, Mantjekane and Tidintitjane.
Disgusted community leader, Kgwadi Thobane, from Masehleng blamed the department for completely neglecting the D4220 road for almost 27 years without maintenance saying it has now worsened.
Thobane said they had pleaded with the department to re-gravel the D4220 road after it has failed to tar it despite issued budget in 2001 and in 2009.
A leader said on October 19 2020, the department offloaded a dozer at his place and left and returned after a week.
He said the bulldozer operator on his return, only worked half a day and claimed the dozer was broken.
“We inquired to his senior project manager and she didn’t mention anything about a broken down dozer, instead she said no operator was available at the time and we discovered that the operator blatantly lied to us,” said Thobane.
“On the first week of December the operator came and only constructed 200 metres of 15km and left without telling anyone anything and when we tried to engage with his senior again she rejected our calls,” he claimed.
However in terms of Batho Pele principles the citizens should be given full accurate information about the public services the area is entitled to receive.
Thobane said they even wrote to the department’s MEC Namane Masemola but he has not yet responded.
Another concerned resident, Abram Kopotja, said problems related to unmaintained D4220 road dated back in 2001 when survey was called to inspect 15km of the road, adding that at least R63 million was estimated to construct the road.
Kopotja said more small culvert were also delivered in 2001 but nothing has happened.
“We voluntarily asked Twickenham mine to supply us with soil to cover the heavy rocks on the road. He said people got punches daily when driving on D4220 and ambulances can’t pass to attend patience whenever there is a need” said Kopotja.
Chairperson of Tjate Community Development said he was tired of the empty promises made by the department.
During State of The Province Address (SOPA), Premier Chupu Mathabatha said: “Infrastructure development and economic transformation cannot be over emphasised. Infrastructure is a magnetic force that attracts investment, for us to breathe life into our struggling economy”
The African National Congress (ANC) in Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTML) ward 38, Councillor Maloke Makua, confirmed the department was currently on site and started re-gravelling the D4220 again after they had stopped.
Masehleng councillor said the department sent more dipper trucks and grader last week.
“We wrote a follow up letter to the department to meet them over promised 7km tar road,” said Makua.
He said visual assessments were made before they started.
Regina said she was not a departmental spokesperson therefore she can’t comment on that issue.
But before that she said: “What do you want to know exactly? Only people we work with know why in December the project was stopped,” she said
She added that she can’t answer questions related to previous months because they ironed their mistakes.