Limpopo village vows not to vote over unsafe and poor road conditions



Published May 29, 2024


Frustrated residents of Kaditshwene village in Mokopane, Limpopo have vowed not to vote until their demand for the conversion of the D3503 gravel road to a tar road is met, citing that it poses significant safety concerns to the community.

Residents voiced their concerns about the poor state of the road, highlighting that the situation worsens during rainy periods, leading to the formation of dongas and making travel even more hazardous.

Speaking to IOL News, community leader Earnest Maswanganyi said that since 2017, they have consistently sent letters of complaint to the Mogalakwena Local Municipality.

Earnest Maswanganyi, a community leader of Kaditshwene village in Mokopane has vowed not to vote until their demand to have the D3503 road tarred is met. Picture: Supplied

He said the letters aimed to address their concerns regarding the road's deteriorating condition. However, he bemoaned that despite their efforts, they have never received any response from the municipality.

"The bad state of the road has led to numerous accidents, tragically resulting in loss of life. During rainfall, the situation escalates as the road becomes impassable for vehicles."

Maswanganyi said that due to the road's poor condition, they endure challenges in accessing healthcare services, and ambulances are unable to reach the community during emergencies.

"It's a huge problem because accessing the George Masebe Hospital services requires taking a longer route, resulting in delays. This also affects scholar transport services for learners attending schools in the nearby area."

He mentioned that the Ranku Bridge along the gravel road has developed cracks underneath, instilling fear among residents due to its frequent use.

The Ranku bridge along the D3503 gravel road in Kaditshwene village is causing fear among residents due to its frequent use. Picture: Supplied

"We're constantly worried about the bridge's safety and the potential risks it poses," he said.

He added that upon realising the municipality's hesitancy to address their complaints, they escalated the matter to the Limpopo Road Agency (RAL), responsible for planning, designing, and maintaining roads in the province.

However, he said that they were informed that the road is not under the agency's ownership, but rather belongs to the municipality.

As a result, Maswanganyi declared his intention to simply fold his arms in his yard and refrain from voting, citing the municipality's failure to provide adequate services.

Meanwhile, according to a document seen by IOL News, from the roads agency, the road is not listed on the 2014 gazette list of roads owned by the RAL. Instead, this particular section of the road is categorised as a municipal road and falls under the jurisdiction of the municipality.

Kaditshwene villagers have vowed not to vote over their dissatisfaction over the condition of the road they’re forced to use. Picture: Supplied

Yesterday, the Mogalakwena Local Municipality mayor Ngoako Taueatsoala visited the area, following threats from residents to disrupt the elections if their demands were not addressed.

However, his visit failed to provide the solutions demanded by the frustrated residents, leading some of them to decide not to vote on Wednesday.

"He told the community that he would return with updates on June 10 regarding solutions for the road. However, we made it clear to him that we are not going to vote until he returns with those solutions," concerned resident George Chipana told IOL News.

Another resident, Mathoma Matjila, expressed frustration, "Our municipality has failed us many times. We have witnessed numerous accidents happening here, and despite promises from municipal officials to tar the road, nothing has been done to date."

Matjila echoed Chipana's sentiments, emphasising that he also will not vote until the mayor delivers a compelling solution to resolve the road issue.

Enquiries were sent to the municipality's spokesperson, Malesela Selokela. However, no responses were received to the questions at the time of publication of this article.