North West Premier Job Mokgoro has called on the Ventersdorp community to identify factual points on why the amalgamation of the former Tlokwe and Ventersdorp Local Municipalities was not working.
“It is that approach that will assist government in taking an informed and objective decision about the community’s demand for de-amalgamation of the two municipalities,” said Mokgoro.
The Premier’s call emerged during his interaction with the community of Ventersdorp at a meeting that was held on Wednesday.
This follows unrest that flared up and escalated to violence in the town earlier this month.
The meeting focused on basic service delivery challenges and the community’s demands, including the removal of some ward councillors and the de-amalgamation of the two municipalities on claims that the newly established JB Marks Local Municipality was not benefiting the Ventersdorp community.
The roll-out of the N14 development project was also among the demands by the community.
Mokgoro was accompanied by Community Safety and Transport Management MEC Mpho Motlhabane and the Acting Executive Mayor of JB Marks Local Municipality, Kelvin Johnson.
The trio welcomed the complaints raised by the community as fair.
They undertook to ensure that the concern involving some ward councillors, who never hold community meetings, is discussed with the relevant provincial political leadership structures.
Mokgoro assured the community that the call for de-amalgamation has already been raised with the highest national authorities and will receive the attention it deserves.
The Premier said there is a need for some distinctions to be noted between the Potchefstroom and Ventersdorp communities.
“We acknowledged that we have a revenue management system that has worked well for Potchefstroom over the years, but we do not seem to have taken into account the uniqueness of Ventersdorp, where we have villages and farms, with the income basis that is low and different from the Potchefstroom area.
“We might also at this stage need to look at the possibility of decentralisation and make sure that we have the necessary capacity at Ventersdorp, so that the people here can have a sense of ownership of the municipality,” said Mokgoro.
The Premier, who had in the past two weeks deployed a team of Heads of Departments led by a Deputy Director General in the Office of the Premier to Ventersdorp, used this opportunity to also update the community on the feedback from the task team’s assessment.
Mokgoro reassured the community of his commitment to ensuring that all the service delivery complaints, including the N14 development project, are accordingly attended to by the relevant provincial departments. – SAnews.gov.za