Moqhaka neglects residents’ petitions: DA demands urgent review

Issued by Leah Van Schalkwyk – DA Councillor Moqhaka Local Municipality
08 Jun 2023 in Press Statements

Note to editors: Please find attached the English soundbite by Cllr Leah Van Schalkwyk and Sesotho by Karabo Khakhau MP.

It has been a staggering 18 months since the petition committee of Moqhaka Local Municipality convened a meeting to address the numerous petitions submitted by local residents. Despite three scheduled meetings, all have been repeatedly postponed due to the absence of ANC Councillors.

The petitions highlight pressing concerns, ranging from complaints against councillors to inadequate service delivery in specific areas of the town. Regrettably, none of these petitions have been addressed, leaving residents in a state of uncertainty. Instead, the petitions continue to accumulate at the municipal offices, devoid of any accountability.

According to Section 17 (2) of The Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000, the municipality must establish mechanisms for community participation, including the receipt, processing, and consideration of petitions. Moqhaka Municipality already has a petition policy in place, but its implementation has been non-existent.

Petitions serve as a vital channel for residents to express their grievances without resorting to protests. However, the municipality’s failure to address these petitions undermines their purpose. The DA has lodged multiple complaints with the Speaker’s office, but the lack of urgency in resolving this matter is disheartening. It is evident that the municipality lacks a clear and consistent process for managing petitions, raising serious concerns.

The DA urgently calls upon the municipality to schedule a meeting and commence the proceedings of the petition committee. Additionally, the municipality should compile a quarterly report on the petitions, present it to the Council, and communicate the outcomes to the community. The DA refuses to remain passive while residents’ complaints are ignored. The municipality has a legal obligation to uphold transparency and engage with the local community effectively.