Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

FF Plus welcomes dissolution of Phokwane Municipal Council (Hartswater, Jan Kempdorp, Pampierstat) in the Northern Cape

The FF Plus welcomes the dissolution of the Phokwane Local Municipal Council, which includes towns like Hartswater and Jan Kempdorp as well as the Vaal-Harts Irrigation Scheme. For years, mismanagement has resulted in sewage pollution, power outages and overall poor service delivery in this engine room of the Northern Cape economy.

The initial optimism that new brooms will sweep clean after the local government elections of 2016 soon gave way to disappointment. Due to the non-payment of the Municipality's Eskom account, there was a constant threat of power outages. These outages were only averted after the paying community took decisive legal steps. In 2019, the Municipality was placed under administration, but the administrator was unable to rectify matters.

The Northern Cape, with its expansive area and scarce population, is economically dependent on irrigation schemes, like in the Harts River Valley. The irrigation scheme was one of the innovative projects that aimed to alleviate the severe poverty of the 1930s. A weir in the Vaal River near Warrenton diverts some of the water of this river to the seasonal Harts River. Then channels distribute the water to a network of irrigation points where wine grapes, pecan nuts, olives, maize, wheat, lucerne and various other vegetables are produced.

Skills and sheer determination were combined with natural resources to create this oasis. This means that the natural environment is ecologically sensitive and it could easily be negatively affected by pollution, especially through sewage pollution. The sophisticated agriculturally driven economy, furthermore, relies heavily on electric energy. In a time such as this with economic contraction and job losses, there is no leeway to endanger such a valuable asset due to municipal mismanagement.

While the Northern Cape Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, has taken the most important step by dissolving the Phokwane Municipal Council, the onus is on the voters to elect a council that will help this green valley achieve even greater heights.

Contact details: 074 166 5540‪



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