13 August 2017 Read: 363
It would appear as though the municipal manager of the Greater Letaba Municipality (GLM) would rather avoid the media than face up to the failures of her office in Modjadjiskloof. Bulletin is still waiting for Tsakani Mashaba, the MM, to respond to four media enquiries sent to her office through their media liaison officer, Lovers Maenetje, more than a month ago.
These enquiries concerned the irregularities and omissions in the GLM’s Annual Report (sent on 10th of April), the GLM’s absolute disregard of the plight of the SPCA (sent on 27th of June), the Solid Waste Transfer station which is not operating within the environmental waste management act legislation (sent on 4th of July), and the Modjadjiskloof cemetery debacle (sent on the 7th of July).
Despite continuous pressure from Bulletin, the Modjadjiskloof community, the opposition party in that municipality and even correspondence from the Human Rights Commission, Mashaba blatantly ignores her duties as information officer. She is never available for comment with the excuse being that she is away attending a course. Her refusal to engage the media or the community she is supposed to serve, has left residents wondering whether she is qualified for the high-paying position she has occupied for the last few years. Rumour has it that she won’t be leaving anytime soon either, as her contract is said to have been extended.
Coupled with the inefficiencies of the municipal manager, the community in Modjadjiskloof also have to deal with the Environmental Affairs manager, Lerato Shoroma, who has just recently unveiled plans to use Modjadjiskloof cemetery as a stand-in for the full-to-capacity Kgapane cemetery without a proper public participation hearing and despite objections from the residents. Bulletin and a number of residents in the Kloof have requested that proof of the environmental impact study which would support the move, be made public. She has also not been able to give an indication of how many burials would be expected in the tiny cemetery either, nor what would happen should Modjadjiskloof reach capacity too. No response and the burials are said to go ahead regardless.
Shoroma has also failed to provide the community with a valid explanation as to why she decided to earmark land in Kgapane for the new Modjadjiskloof landfill site which is an estimated 40 kilometres from town. No reason has yet been given for the decision to halt daily refuse removal from the temporary solid waste station to Tzaneen either. It is reported that Shoroma said the amount of waste accumulated daily does not warrant the 15 kilometre trip to Tzaneen. When Bulletin enquired about her qualifications, we were told that she has “some degree or diploma from the University of Venda and she knows what she is doing.”