Maverick Citizen

ROAD TO 2024 ELECTIONS OP-ED

‘No road no vote’ say angry Limpopo residents in face of chronic service delivery failings

‘No road no vote’ say angry Limpopo residents in face of chronic service delivery failings
A road to nowhere: After waiting years for this essential road to be upgraded, residents of Mahlathi Village now say #NoRoadNoVote. (Photo: Supplied)

Residents of the Greater Giyani Municipality are angry at not having basic services like water, sanitation and road infrastructure. They are now warning political parties campaigning in their respective villages that they will not vote unless their concerns are addressed.

As the 2024 national elections fast approach, the Limpopo Concern team, operating under the Greater Giyani Municipality, issued a clear call to political parties seeking support in the villages of Khakhala, Gawula, Mahlathi, Ndindani, and Hlomela. Their message is: until critical infrastructure needs are decisively addressed, any attempt at political campaigning within these deserted communities will be met with strong resistance, Members of the Limpopo Concern team said.

Residents of five villages have decided to create a WhatsApp group called ‘No Road No Vote’ This group so far has 10,024 participants. One of the group’s founding members said, “Our mission is to unite and boycott this year’s election because the ruling party has been fooling us all along and every election they are lying that they will tar out road now let’s say enough is enough we don’t want to come and campaign”.

At the heart of this resistance lies neglect and unmet promises. These villages find themselves in the harsh grip of many challenges like inadequate access to essential services such as clean water and basic sanitation. Moreover, the impact of unemployment leaves many residents without viable means of livelihood. Yet, amidst this struggle and hardships, it is the absence of a tarred road, notably the D3810, that serves as a symbol of governmental indifference and broken commitments to the people of greater Giyani.

I have written often about these grievances in Daily Maverick. The villagers’ frustrations have now found voice in the rallying cry of #NoXikontiriNoVote — a hashtag meaning that the communities withhold their votes until the longstanding promise of a tarred road materialises. Indeed, the road issue has emerged as a rallying point for residents to stand united in their demand for accountability from political leaders.

Read more in Daily Maverick: 2024 elections loading — residents of Mahlathi Village in Limpopo say #NoRoadNoVote

The small chance of hope brought with the visit of former Deputy President David Mabuza to Mahlathi and Ndindani villages in February 2019 soon died in the face of harsh realities. While the formation of a committee to address the D3810 road issue initially sparked optimism, it was quickly overshadowed by allegations of bribery and ineffective leadership. The presence of ANC-affiliated members in key positions within the previous committee that was elected by these five villages to oversee the process of getting a tar road for D3810 only served to deepen suspicions of political connections, further destroying trust within the community.

Service delivery failings on all fronts

In addition, the residents of Khakhala, Gawula, Mahlathi, Ndindani, and Hlomela face the daily challenge of accessing clean water. With municipal water systems failing to reach their remote locations, many people are forced to rely on temporary solutions, such as boreholes and underground springs. However, even these alternative sources come at a cost, with villagers often having to pay to access water from privately owned boreholes. For those unable to afford such expenses, the alternative is walking long journeys on foot to distant underground springs, where they must endure scorching temperatures and heavy containers to take water back to their homes.

Another member of the ‘No Road No Vote’ group said, “Corruption of local traditional leaders leveraging their positions to extort huge sums from contractors have exacerbated tensions and deepened mistrust in local governance structures”. Members of the group are angry about the recent allocation of funds by the Limpopo Provincial Government for vehicles to traditional leaders, rather than addressing critical challenges of infrastructure needs.

Read more in Daily Maverick: King-size splurge – Limpopo traditional leaders to get new wheels worth millions

In the face of these tough challenges, the Limpopo Concern team continues to forge ahead in their quest for substantive change. Their recent efforts to organise a crucial meeting on 21 February 2024 in order to address the road issue, were met with disappointment as key stakeholders failed to honour their invitations. Frustrated by this lack of engagement, the team decided to take matters into their own hands.

The team launched protest actions to disrupt the electoral process in wards 18 and 19 until their demands are met. This basic mobilization stands as a testament to their unshakable commitment to effect clear change and to hold elected officials accountable for their actions.

Residents were hopeful when a tender announcement was made in December last year for the D3810 road by ANC Greater Giyani mayor and Sanral. However construction has yet to begin and scepticism is still there, with some questioning the timing of these developments against the backdrop of upcoming elections.

As the countdown to the 2024 elections continues, the residents of Khakhala, Gawula, Mahlathi, Ndindani, and Hlomela remain steadfast in their demand for transformative change. Their message is clear: no road, no vote. Until their voices are heard, and their needs addressed, they stand resolute in their quest to shape a brighter future for their villages and generations to come. DM

Israel Nkuna is a ward committee representative in Ward 19, a community activist, a human rights and social grants activist and a writer at Mahlathi village in Giyani, Limpopo.

Israel will be writing a monthly article about the 2024 elections, painting pictures in his villages and the entire Giyani. You can contact him at [email protected] or on WhatsApp: 082 433 8538.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • D Rod says:

    Sadly, just another confirmation that democracy is not well understood in (South) Africa. It should be “no road, vote for change”.

    • Gavin Knox says:

      Precisely, they voted for the non suppliers to start with, but to voted to have then replaced just isn’t in their comprehension…. so stay with what you have, that’s what you actually deserve….

  • Joe grk9300 says:

    And how do they think by not voting will it make any difference ?
    They voted the incompetents in, they must vote them out !

    • muyimeri mathebula says:

      The road D3810 from khakhala to hlomela need to tarred….they have been promising us for many years back. Now we are tired we are no longer want any promises about upgrading the road fromm gravel to tar..we just want to see the tar road. The 5 villages between hlomela and khakhala have already agreed to #NO ROAD NO VOTE

      • Gbone . says:

        Joe rests his case!

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        The roads in the Western Cape are excellent! Vote for the party that builds and maintains them, rather than simply not voting.

      • Denise Smit says:

        Giyani is near the Kruger National Park. A beautifull area to visit. But nowadays we do not go there anymore (from the Western Cape). Scared for the roads, lack of basic support services. Even in the Kruger National Park it appears that infrastructure is less maintained than in the past. We need a government that will service the vehicle and plan and budget for a new vehicle. Not leave citizens to fend for themselves

  • Lucky Nkuna says:

    On 2019, the office of President sent Mr David Mabuza to address the issue of tar road. Even today, we don’t have any road.

    #no road, no vote!

    • Laurence bekink says:

      You most likely voted in the government that is failing us all. Now your logic abandons you at the potential precipice of change. Your #NO ROAD NO VOTE will merely ensure you never get the road you so strongly desire. How easily the wool is pulled over the peoples eyes.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Western Cape roads are excellent – vote for the party that builds and maintains them!

  • Lucky Nkuna says:

    On 2019, Mr DD Mabuza promised to make the tar road D3810 which is from Khakhala to Hlomela, Giyani villages (Limpopo), even today we are still using a gravel road.

  • Louwy Mathebula says:

    We have been promised that our road will be tarred since 2018. Every year they come with empty promises. We don’t have access to clean water, no road, network is also a problem. Youth are unemployed.
    We not going to vote until the government fulfill every promis they promised us.

    #NoRoadNoVote

    • MaverickMe says:

      You are well within in your rights to withhold you votes however by not voting you are indirectly saying to the government of the day (It makes no difference on who is in charge) that you don’t need to vote as they are doing a fine job.
      As mentioned by other commentators it should be No Road = Vote for Change. The only way you will ever get your roads and other basic amenities is to change the ruling party in your area.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      If you drive between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape you will see that the Western Cape has excellent roads, unlike the ANC roads in the Eastern Cape. Don’t boycott the vote – vote for the party that builds and maintains roads!

  • Joylet Nkuna says:

    We want tar road at Giyani villages, road D3810 from Khakhala to Hlomela. On 2019 Deputy President D Mabuza came to Mahlathi village and promised to make 32KM road, even today we don’t have any tar road.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Deputy President Mabuza is too busy fighting a billion Rand corruption case to actually care about your village. But roads in the Western Cape are excellent! Vote for the party that builds and maintains them!

  • Patrick Chauke says:

    Former deputy president David Mabuza promised us it is not going take 4 months for the project to start, that was 2018 till today no one is telling us anything. Our local chiefs and the task team became the enemies of the communities since they are not prepared to give the report on where they have ended with the municipality. We then came to the agreement as the members of 5 villages that we are not taking part of 2024 elections.#no road no vote asijiki

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Mabuza is facing huge corruption claims in Mpumalanga, he doesn’t care (nor did he ever). The Western Cape has great roads – vote for the party that builds and maintains them!

  • Steve Chauke says:

    D3810 road concerns five angry communities which includes Khakhala, Gaula, Mahlathi, Ndindani and Hlomela under Giyani Limpopo Province, the government promised to put the tar road since the year 2018 until to date 2024 nothing has been done by the so called SANRAL. These five villages agreed not to Vote without a tarred road. Their current slogan “NO ROAD NO VOTE NO CAMPAIGN “

  • Bongani Chauke says:

    Most people who vote most of the time is from rural communities but their votes are just used as tickets to freedom for our politicians and their families.

    For years now, Road D3810 has been getting budget allocated to it but to date nothing is done. Where did the money go, aren’t they supposed to do quality assurances after these projects; how can a National road be still a gravel Road in a democracy government 🤔 🙄 All they know is to LOOT and cover each other up there.

    Enough is enough, we say “NO DOOR TO DOOR CAMPAIGNS IN OUR VILLAGES AND NO ROAD NO VOTE”

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      It would be better if you did vote – for the party that builds and maintains roads properly, like the one that governs in the Western Cape. Their roads are excellent!

  • Sasavona Mabasa says:

    The promise of tar road is long overdue that’s why we are opting not to vote. We are led by crooks who always give false hope to the community. Enough is enough
    #No road no vote
    # we are fearless

  • Patrick Chauke says:

    Since 2009 we were in the budget of greater Giyani municipality with the figures we were budgeted but nothing has happened. We have to ask and ask where is this money going every financial year but our questions fell in the deaf ears no answers. To make our situation worse there is a village at Giyani where they have the tar road to the cemetery but we the living people we are using a muddy road to access basic services at Giyani Town. The government of the day has made the Khakhala, Gawula, Mahlathi, Ndindani and Hlomela communities upset very angry because even when we look back since 1994 we get the handout services when every village is done then they give us. Even the issue of electricity we became the last villages to be electrified but we have the highest number of voters on our villages.

    • Andrew Wallace says:

      A NO VOTE IS NOT HAVING A VOICE.
      INSTEAD, RATHER VOTE FOR A DIFFERENT PARTY.
      THAT WAY YOU WEAKEN THE CURRENT INCOMPETENTS AND STRENGTHENS OTHERS THAT WILL SEE TO IT THAT YOUR CONCERNS ARE ADDRESSED.

      USE YOUR VOTE WISELY, BUT TO SIMPLY NOT VOTE IS A WASTE OF YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHT, NAY, OBLIGATION.

      VOTE, VOTE, VOTE BUT TRY ANOTHER PARTY.

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