By Theodorah Mawasha
MAAPANA VILLAGE- The community members of Maapana village, in Kgapane under the Greater Letaba Municipality were delighted to hear about the new toilets that will be delivered in the village.
To them, this meant that impoverished families will be considered first and will be the most eligible recipients.
However, according to some community members and the chieftains, this was not how things unfolded.
Meanwhile, Tzaneen Voice learned that the families on the list of recipients were sent from Greater Letaba Municipality. This meant that the families were selected randomly without following due process and protocol of the chieftaincy.
According to a representative from the chief ‘s house, Mohale Moselekwa said the entire project was not approved and communicated to them properly, therefore, they feel undermined.
“We were approached and informed of the toilets that were going to be built by the contractor and ward committee. While we were waiting for further communication from them as to who should be selected and when the project will start, we were overlooked,” he stated.
He further mentioned that the process is wrong because the list was supposed to come from them.
“We know the most deserving people. Failure to do that indicated that we were not taken seriously. This has caused conflict and confusion between us and the villagers because they believe we are conspiring with the municipality and taking bribes which is not the case” he added.
The frustration of the community prompted them to halt the process and demand some community members be contracted to the project. That action yielded positive results because, indeed, 21 community members were considered to be part of the construction.
A concerned community member, Masilo Kgatle said “We cannot afford to sit back and watch while we see things not done lawfully. We must stand together and ensure service delivery reaches even those that are marginalized . That way we are exemplary to other rural areas to show we are deserving and must raise our concerns if it needs be.”
According to the Greater Letaba Municipality, communications officer Lovers Maenetja, the department has distanced itself from the project citing that it is not in the local Municipalities jurisdiction. “Please be informed that we are not liable for sanitation projects. They are done by Mopani District Municipality.” Maenetja said.