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Mayor Mahosiís 1st Public Participation: A Huge Success

Dzwerani; the village in the South Eastern part of Thohoyandou will always be remembered as the area where Cllr. Grace Mahosi conducted her first ever Public Participation programme as a Mayor of the Thulamela Municipality, following her election to head the Municipality as the Mayor; Mahosi and a host of her councilors and member of the administration staff visited Dzwerani to listen to community dwellers as they voice out their service delivery related concerns.

Public participation is an event designed to create a platform for provincial and municipal public representatives to interact with communities to speed and accelerate service delivery matters. It is used to consult community stakeholders to strengthen strategic partnerships in line with the ethos of participatory democracy and more importantly, afford public representatives an opportunity to account on service delivery matters.

The event that killed differences between community members and groups and fostered family hood, revealed to Mayor Mahosi how rough and painful it can be to live in the most rural of the rural South Africa like Dzwerani.

Various community groups and institutions namely the churches, organization for people with disabilities, commuters, youth formations, traditional leaders, political parties and so on, put their differences aside to talk away the anguish that comes with much less development of their communities.

The South African National Civic Organizations SANCO highlighted the shortage of water in Dzwerani and surrounding areas. In its report it said; "The dam that supplies water to Dzwerani, Manamani, Ha-Madala, Mahematshena, and Mashawana is the same and it is unable to supply water to all these villages adequately." It further talked on the bad state of roads highlighting the possible collapse of the Dzwerani Bridge, rife criminal activities in the area, poor and unsupported agricultural activities, thriv¨ing poverty rate, lack of sanitation and alarming unemployment rate.

The Dzwerani Education desk decried poor facilities in all the village schools that include Andries Mugaguli, Lwamondo and Muthamaro. The facilities include proper classrooms, desks, computer and science laboratories, study libraries and so on.

The business cluster requested the municipality to persuade traditional leaders in the area to relax their conditions on the provision of land so that more land could be made available to aspiring business people. They also talked about crime being a problem to willing investors.

People living with disability requested to be part of every community structure, going with the popular "Nothing about us without us" mantra.

They said they were also concerned that their disability grant pay point was too far and not accessible. "Where we get our grants is about 5km away and itís not easily accessible. The municipality must allocate us a nearer pay point." They said in their representations.

In her response to these and other issues raised during the event, Thulamela Mayor Grace Mahosi said her office and the municipality have listened to the peopleís pleas and will do all in their power to address them.

"The ANC government cares about you. We wouldn't have come here if we were not serious about helping you realize what the ANC termed; 'a better future for all'. We are here because we care. We have heard your pleas and we will be doing all in our might to address your problems and challenges."

Mahosi rapped up by encouraging members of the community to always engage their municipality when they have problems. "Those offices used by us are yours; the people occupying them are your servants. They earn from your purse so use them and that is what they are there for."

She quoted from the 2011 ANCís service delivery pay off line; "Together we can do more." She concluded.

Thulamela Municipality


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