ATC081129: Report on Fact Finding Mission to New Eersterus, Hammanskraal

Private Members' Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions



1.                BACKGROUND:


The Select Committee on Petitions and Members’ Legislative Proposals received a petition on water service delivery from the residents of Block 2 and Block 4 extension in New Eersterus, Hammanskraal, which had been submitted to the office of the Speaker of Parliament on 06 August 2007.


2.                OBJECTIIVES:


The committee decided that a delegation of the Committee will go to Gauteng and meet with the officials of Tshwane Metropolitan Council, who are responsible for delivery of municipal (water) services to the area and a delegation of the residents.  The purpose was to gather all the facts on the problems as raised by the residents.


3.                COMPOSITION:


The composition of the delegation was as follows:


1.                Mr F Adams (ANC) - Chairperson of Committee and Leader of


2.                Mr M A Mzizi (IFP)

3.                Mr A Watson (DA)

4.                Ms T M Sepanya (Committee Secretary)

5.                Ms N Nqcaba (Committee Researcher)


4.                FINDINGS:


4.1                       Meeting with City Council Officials at the Tshwane

Metro-council offices:


The meeting was chaired by Mr Pillay the chairperson of the Mayoral Committee on Municipal Services.


Mr Pillay indicated that, the area in question was previously administered by the North-west provincial government and thatTshwane Metropolitan Council, Gauteng Province took over in 2001.  The area in question is not a proclaimed area and that this will happen in January/February 2008.  Residents of the area were originally from Mamelodi, Eesterus and neighbouring suburbs like Mabopane hence the name New Eersterus.  They initially illegally occupied the land.


He explained that the area does not have bulk water.  The council is busy with water connections and will complete this around July 2008.


 The process has been delayed because the area is still being developed.  There are about 5 000 stands in the residential area. The installation of the sanitation system will be completed sometime in 2010.


He indicated that, they had received complaints about the quality of the water and had assigned the SABS to test this and it was found to be of good quality.  It was discovered that, whatever strange particles, e.g. dead cats had been deliberately put there by the residents themselves as they did not want the tankers that had been installed.


The ward councillor Mr Solly Moima explained that the council had a meeting with the community in July 2007.  He has been giving the residents feedback on the progress of water provision.  He explained that, there are 11 boreholes and 5 trucks which will be increased to 8.  The construction of the Phase I water reticulation network started on 01 October 2007.  The council, however, has temporary yard connections.  Phase II will start in January and will make provision for all the other services.


The labour for this project is sourced from the local community.  This is a very labour intensive project.


4.2                       Meeting with the community of New Eesterus:


The chairperson outlined the purpose of the visit, that the meeting would only be deal with the matters raised by the community in the petition to Parliament.  This was water provision.


The community was led by Ms Hilda Monkwe.  She indicated that they had various meetings with all the relevant structures within the council about their plight and did not get any assistance hence they resorted to petitioning Parliament as they believed that they have exhausted all avenues available.  She believed that it was the role of Parliament to “deepen democracy” so the committee would then help in getting this achieved.   She mentioned that all the construction projects do not benefit the local community.


It became clear during the meeting that, the concerns of the community were not the provision of the water in particular but they were unhappy about the way the council was dealing with the development of the area.


 Mr Joseph Mogale, a member of the delegation complained about the fact that there was no proper consultation about matters affecting them e.g. the tender process on the project that was being undertaken.  He indicated that there was a strong feeling that the policies of the Extended Public Works Projects are not implemented on the council’s projects.


The Council appointed a steering committee.  A work committee was elected and they believed that members of this committee should not be compensated for performing this function as all of them have a stake in the construction company.  Mr BrianMakhubedu, mentioned that, since water was a measure of service delivery, they petitioned on it but that the real issue was the “reconstruction and development” of the area.


Mr Danie Swart, Manager for infrastructure provision in response outlined the project.  He explained that the council had designed a basic network of water supply.  The council would provide full water supply service to be linked to Phase II which would be completed by June 2009.  Phase II would start in the last week of November 2008.


A project steering committee was set up for each project the council was involved in.  A community liaison officer appointed by the council also participated in the site meetings.


The sub-contractor, Mr Abraham Mashilo started this project in October 2007 and it is due for completion in June 2008.


The leader of the community delegation Ms Hilda Monkwe was concerned that the locals do not benefit from the projects.  She insisted that only certain members of the ruling party benefit as prospective employees are asked to produce their ANC membership cards before they could be employed.


The delegation also visited the site where the project was conducted from.


5.                RECOMMENDATIONS:


The Committee recommends, in terms of rule 235 of the NCOP Rules, that the matter be referred to the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration and the relevant Committee in the Gauteng legislature.


6.                CONCLUSION


The Committee would undertake a follow-up meeting in six months to find out if matters raised so far have been dealt with.


Report to be considered.




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