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News - Date: 16 July 2017
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 1601
Residents in the Mulima and Tshitale area should not get their hopes up that the road to their villages will soon be upgraded. According to the Road Agency Limpopo (RAL), this road is not on the immediate schedule to be upgraded.
Earlier this year, residents hosted several demonstrations after failing to get the attention of and answers about the road from the RAL. The Mulima and Tshitale road is so bad that, when it rains, commuters are left stranded on the muddy roads.
“It’s near impossible to reach our places of work when it rains. Roads are slippery, so that even buses and taxis do not operate,” said a resident, Mr Edward Mafela.
In February this year, many government officials could not reach their places of work because they got stuck in the muddy road of Pfananani. “I am speaking about educators, policemen, officials at the magistrate's offices, education circuit office, police station and students from primary and secondary schools,” Mafela said.
He added that the workers and commuters had held several meetings to discuss the road issue over the past years, and they had even sent some letters to the local municipality and district municipality. Residents were informed that the road falls within the RAL’s jurisdiction and not the municipalities'.
“We had to discuss this problem among ourselves as workers,” he said. “The impression we have is that our government is very selective in offering services. There are areas it does not appear to care about. One such area is Tshitale.”
Mafela said that they were not calling on the government to tar the road, but just to grade it with strong material, so that they would be able to commute to and from work. “Residents marched to demand that recently,” he said. “If we look at what is happening now, we will all agree they were justified.”
When it had rained, taxis from town and schools in other villages offloaded commuters and pupils about five kilometres away from the village and educators would volunteer to load them into their four-by-four bakkies, so that they did not spend the night on the misty road.
The spokesperson for the RAL, Ms Anastacia Lekalakala, said that the road in question was a portion of roads D3727 and D879 between Mulima and Tshitale, which also formed part of the Bermuda Road (T637B) from Mashamba to Morebeng. “I do not think this section forms part of the advertised tender T637B which closed on 2 March this year, because it is a portion of Mulima and Tshitale roads,” she said. “Mulima is 14km from Mashamba (end of tar), and Tshitale is a further 9km from Mulima. We are not yet certain when the next section will go out on tender.”
Mafela said that the residents were planning to sit down and write a memorandum, which they would then submit to the RAL offices. “We need the road to be graded in the meantime,” he said. “And we also need this very road to be formally constructed and tarred.”
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Pupils get into a bakkie, because taxis cannot risk driving further.
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.