By Thys Khiba
Winburg – The residents of Makeleketla-Winburg continues to barricade the N1 and Makeleketla Road as a demonstration of their frustration over lack of service delivery and allegations of change of visit of the South African President to Winburg.
“They say they want to talk to the President about the challenges they face daily,” said anonymous.
The residents accuses the municipality of failing to supply consistent clean water. Among other issues that were raised by the community members is that they are unhappy after it was reported that ‘the planned visit of the President to Makeleketla-Winburg is now being changed by the provincial government to Botshabelo.’
“They barricaded the N1 and Makeleketla Road with the burning tyres, stones, and branches. Their discontent comes after the decision taken by the provincial government that an upcoming visit of president Cyril Ramaphosa will no longer be in Winburg. The statement has indicated that the new venue for the presidential visit will now be in Botshabelo, near Bloemfontein,” said anonymous.
It is reported that a truck was torched, and fortunately, no-one was injured as the passengers managed to escape.
Makeleketla-Winburg residents indicated that they won’t stop protesting until the change of venue is cancelled.
The Premier of Free State Sisi Ntombela has responded by indicating that the visit by the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is primarily to commemorate Freedom Day and to officially launch the Charlotte Maxeke Rehabilitation Centre in Botshabelo. And this is in line with ‘the strategic objectives set out by government during the year of Charlotte Maxeke.’
“The Premier notes the genuine concerns raised by the community of Winburg, particularly as it pertains to consistent supply of clean running water which has been a concern for a number of municipalities in the province. Premier Ntombela wishes to state categorically that she never redirected the President’s visit as reported by unverified sources,” said Premier Spokesperson Sello Pietersen.
“It is for this reason, that there is currently a R24 million water treatment plant project which is being implemented in Winburg since 2019, which will be concluded in July 2021.This project is aimed at addressing the important aspect of clean and reliable supply of water,” said Pietersen.
Free State Premier has promised to visit Masilonyana local municipality together with the executive council as part of her continuous service delivery roadshow.