Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Thembi Siweya, says the Vuwani area of Limpopo is in desperate need of service delivery. Siweya is visiting and speaking to residents in the area as part of a service delivery assessment.
Vuwani is one of the country’s poorest and most underserved areas. There are a lack of clean drinking water, good roads, and health care services.
Vuwani has been notorious for violent protests in 2016 due to municipal boundary demarcations. Residents then were against the incorporation of the area into the newly created Collins Chabane Local Municipality.
One section of the area was part of the Thulamela Municipality, while the other full under the Makhado Municipality.
24 schools and several dwellings were set alight and damaged during the unrest.
VIDEO: This 2016 video illustrates Vuwani unrests:
Merging the two areas under the Collins Chabane Municipality would have ensured better access to services. However, residents in the area still experience service delivery challenges.
During an engagement with Siweya, some residents said not much has changed since the merger, they say they have been travelling long distances to access services.
Community leader, Arnold Mulaudzi, accused authorities of abandoning infrastructure projects in the area.
“The situation is dire the areas are underdeveloped. There is an issue with water. Projects that started in 2014 by Vhembe remain unfinished; some of them were abandoned. Millions were spent.”
District Development Model
Siweya believes the government’s District Development Model (DDM) will help fast-track service delivery in the area. She says they will align all municipal projects with national planning to ensure effective service delivery.
She says, “We are hoping that with DDM all those things can be resolved but also because we find investors who come here they come and invest and build a school while there is no access to roads, so we are looking that with DDM cause they are rolling out the municipalities are now busy with their IDPs they are going to be aligned with the district development model to ensure that we give our people services that have been there.”
While some infrastructure development projects are underway in Vuwani, there are also service delivery projects that are stagnant.