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Residents of small holdings at Bela-Bela have been without power for ten days

The FF Plus sent an urgent letter to Limpopo's MEC for Cooperative governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COCHSTA), Basikopo Makamu, after the party gained no response from the Bela-Bela Local Municipality (Bela-Bela, Pienaarsrivier) about the ongoing power crises affecting the residents of the Noodhulp and Roodepoort small holdings.

These small holdings have not had power since the 21st of February because the Municipality failed to replace a broken transformer which provides these areas with power.

The Municipality was informed numerous times that the transformer cannot be repaired and must be replaced. These warnings, however, fell on deaf ears.

According to information obtained by the FF Plus, there is a transformer available, but the Municipality has just not yet authorised the payment for it.

In light of the dire financial predicament in which this Municipality finds itself, no provider of services or goods is willing to give it to the Municipality on credit.

And in the meantime, humans and animals are suffering as a result of the lack of power. Most residents use submersible pumps to pump water, but because there is no electricity, many of the residents now also do not have water and are forced to buy water to meet their basic needs.

Businesses that have already been brought to their knees by the Covid-19 lockdown are also facing financial ruin. Camping sites have had to cancel their bookings for an indeterminate period.

Bela-Bela is a tourist town, but at the rate at which the town is deteriorating, visitors will no longer want to come and support the local tourism industry. The blame for the deterioration can only be laid at the door of incompetent officials who treat the Municipality's finances as their own, personal piggy bank.

If the MEC does not do something about the matter soon, the FF Plus will take up the matter with the national ministers of COGTA.

The Municipality is guilty of a gross violation of human rights. Residents loyally pay their rates and taxes to the Municipality and deserve to get the services for which they pay.

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