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Thu, 18 Nov, 2010
The Rural People's Movement (RPM) held a march in protest against poor service delivery on Wednesday and handed a petition to Ndlambe Municipality. The march was held in conjuction with Masifunde Education and Development Project Trust, Makukhanye Rural Movement and the Unemployed People's Movement.
The demonstrators sought an audience with Ndlambe mayor Vukile Balura but were unable to do so as Balura was reported to be in Port Elizabeth. The protestors eventually managed to get an audience with Ndlambe Municipality spokesperson Khululekile Mbolekwa.
RPM secretary Siyasanga Mazinyo explained that children are susceptible to water borne diseases such as cholera as they are drinking dirty water which the municiaplity provides. The non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who held the water march threatened to make the Ndlambe Municipality spokesperson to drink the water but did not carry out their threat.
In an interview, the Ndlambe Municipality spokesperson, Khululekile Mbolekwa told Grocotts Mail that they always test the water but will, however, look into addressing the concerns of the demonstrators. Mbolekwa said he will handover the petition to Balura when he is in the ofice so that the concerns of the residents are addressed.
"We need a permanent solution to the water problem, the municipality should practice organic farming and government should be accountable at all times", said Jongile Gaga, the march's convenor.
The NGOs who organised the march said that they represent the poor and disenfranchised sections of the community. The organisations also pledged to hold municipalities accountable for service delivery. RPM president Nomonde Mbelekane said the NGOs were formed by people who are unemployed, live in crime scenes and suffer in poverty and that "we have seen jackals under the sheep's skin".