Friday saw history made as residents of Bethal Rand and Bethal North marched to the Bethal Civic Centre to protest against the water shortages in Bethal North and Bethal Rand.
Bethal residents have been bearing the brunt of the inability of the GMM administration to handle their financial affairs in a credible manner.
The result of their inability is that the Rand Water account is in arrears with millions of Rands.
Rand Water took a decision to restrict waterflow to Bethal and while Bethal Rand and Bethal North did not receive water the southern area did.
When the southern reservoir (next to Grasslands) ran dry water was still pumped to a section of Emzinoni.
Residents took to the street and marched to the Bethal Civic Centre to voice their disapproval of the water restrictions.
The marchers gathered at the Bethal Police Station and started at 14H00. The procession grew in size as people joined in solidarity with the marchers.
The water supply returned to normal for a short while last week but residents started to report that they have had no water shortly thereafter.
The protestors ended their march at the Bethal Civic Centre where they handed a memorandum to the MMC Finance, Cllr NN Zulu, as representative of the Mayor, Cllr Thandiwe Y Ngxonono. She was assisted by MMC Corporate Services, Cllr BB Ndaba and several GMM officials.
The Mayor was given seven days to respond. If she does not respond, the residents vowed to close the town completely.
Here is the full memorandum:
With this Memorandum, Bethal Community wishes to voice its lack of confidence in the management structures of Govan Mbeki Municipality.
It seems that poor service delivery by GMM to Bethal residents became the norm and there is no indication whatsoever that GMM wishes to put the necessary actions in place to turn this poor state of administration around.
As concerned residents of Bethal, Govan Mbeki Municipality is expected to disclose the following information to the residents:
- Can GMM honour its payment obligation to Rand Water as expected on 25 January and 31 January?
- What contingency plans by GMM will be in place to ensure that Bethal Extensions 3 and 8, Bethal Rand and the Small Holdings will not receive a total water-cut again, as was the case in December 2018 and January 2019?
- Will GMM be able to honour its payment towards Eskom coming end of January 2019? If not, what contingency plans will be in place so that Bethal residents are impacted minimally by power disruptions?
- What plans are in place to repair the residential roads that are in a very poor state?
- What plans are in place to provide street lights in residential areas?
- What plans are in place to provide a reliable refuge removal system for residential areas as well as business areas?
- What plans are in place to clean-up the areas affected by the uncontrolled dumping of sewage to the Bethal environment and what will be done to ensure that the outlets of these sewage sources are closed?
- In general, how does GMM foresee to put in order the poor state of its financial circumstances?
GMM’s response with regard to the contents of this Memorandum is expected via a formal media statement within 7 days of receiving this Memorandum.
We, as Bethal residents, feel that GMM is accountable for the provision of a quality service to us, the customer.