Quo vadis, Madibeng?

It is a new year, but it seems it is business as usual in our little hamlet. Eskom is once again threatening to cut electricity supply to the parts it supplies on behalf of Madibeng, and after the good rains there are gigantic potholes causing damage to cars and threatening the lives of its rate-paying citizens. Those very same citizens who have to grit their teeth trying to get out of town on those same potholed roads that cannot handle the increase in traffic volumes, to go and earn the bacon to pay those rates and taxes that are not used as intended, and who have to negotiate those same roads back home to contribute to safety structures such as neighbourhood watches at night.

And don’t even get us started on the faulty traffic lights. It would seem that keeping traffic lights in working order is just way out of Madibeng’s league. If they don’t work, the easy way out is to stick stop signs on them and ignore them till kingdom come. The traffic lights at Hartbeespoort High School are a case in point. Two years and counting since anybody saw a light at the end of that tunnel, so to speak. The Meerhof Road is, despite promises that it would be tarred after the community contributed hundreds of thousands of rands themselves, still not open to traffic.

All that while Hartbeespoort residents are the best paying residents – 93,43% pay their rates and taxes accounts diligently according to the August 2016 report that was presented to council late last year.

Many residents threaten to withhold rates and taxes, but unfortunately that is not a legal route to take and would also not solve the problem. The powers that be will certainly also not agree to lose Hartbeespoort, the goose that lays the golden eggs, to Tshwane as others have suggested. The only way things will change, it seems, is if residents demand the services they pay for and hold council accountable.

How? Through strong civil pressure groups and the media.

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