Ditsobotla burns while ministers slog


The DA in North West has again written to the national ministers of cooperative government and finance (Cogta) to ask for an urgent response to its request to place the Ditsobotla local municipality under section 139(7) national administration which on 13 October 2023 they were presented.

“While Cogta Minister Thembi Nkadimeng and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana are dragging their feet, residents are still suffering due to the complete collapse in management and service delivery,” says Freddy Sonakile, DA caucus leader in the North-West provincial legislature.

“Due to the total inability of the Ditsobotla municipality to carry out regular maintenance on infrastructure, residents have been without electricity for 10 days after a cable exploded. The municipality was slow to respond to this crisis due to a lack of expertise, spare parts and equipment.”

Sonakile says that municipal staff have not been paid their September and October salaries. “This contributes significantly to a totally demotivated workforce unable to perform their duties effectively, not only due to lack of equipment and spare parts, but also the impact on their families who have to find other ways to putting food on the table.”

RNews reported earlier that the Lichtenburg Museum and the town hall also went up in flames on Tuesday evening and the museum’s entire collection of historical artefacts was destroyed. It is a loss of cultural heritage that can never be replaced.

The cause of the fire at the museum is still being investigated, but reports indicate that the fire brigade arrived at the scene with a fire truck without any water.

“As we have seen throughout the Northwest, there is a breakdown in the ability of fire departments to respond effectively to fires to prevent property loss and limit damage.”

In their frustration, Ditsobotla residents took to the streets to demand improved service delivery.

“Ministers Nkadimeng and Godongwana must wake up from their slumber before the situation in Ditsobotla deteriorates further. Three months ago, the DA started court proceedings on behalf of Ditsobotla residents when Eskom unlawfully refused to resume electricity supply following the vandalism of an electricity substation.

“Fire, electricity and water supply cuts and a host of other service delivery problems are in danger of destroying what little is left in Ditsobotla. Urgent and immediate action is now needed as all the interventions by the North West provincial government have failed. The DA will continue to stand up for residents of Ditsobotla to save the town from total collapse.”