MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport in Mpumalanga, Mohita Latchminarain, was prevented from accessing kaMhlushwa in Nkomazi to address community members.
Residents in Kamhlushwa and other villages in Nkomazi blockaded the main roads over road infrastructure. The residents say the whole of Nkomazi is experiencing poor roads.
Video: A video posted on Facebook on Thursday by MEC Latchminarain
The protest by the residents and taxi operators started last week when an agreement was reached that the Public Works, Roads and Transport MEC will meet the community members on Tuesday.
The meeting did not happen. On Thursday morning the residents blockaded the main roads with trucks and debries expressing their anger. They blame the government for not taking them seriously.
“As residents of Nkomazi, we have no proper roads, it is not just potholes, they are totally damaged, there is no road at all, from Naas to Steenbok, from Ngwenyeni to Dludluma, from Mzinti to Schoemansdal. We now want the Premier to come here to address this issue of roads that are damaged, these potholes are damaging our cars,” says one of the residents.
It is very disappointing, says MEC Latchminarain
MEC for Public Works Roads and Transport, Moita Latchminarain says the Tuesday meeting did not take place at the request of the residents.
” I understand that they are disappointed because we had initially agreed on a meeting for Tuesday, however, the leaders in the area advised us that there was a council meeting, they might not be available, we agreed that we will postpone to today where we will address the whole community at Kamhlushwa stadium.”
The MEC expressed disappointment in the road blockade saying she had gone there to present her department’s plan to address the road infrastructure challenge in the area.
” We have been met with a road blockage whereby we are refused entrance to come in, we have the whole team from the department, we have the acting HOD, the director, the district head, we have the presentation on what to do there, but the community doesn’t want us to come in, it is very disappointing. We want to come and tell you what is it that we are doing.”
According to the department, plans are in place to address the challenge of poor roads in the province. However, the residents have vowed to continue with their protest until their demands are met.
Service delivery protests in areas around Mpumalanga are nothing new: