By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says there is no plausible excuse why residents of Maluti-a-Phofung struggle to access water and electricity, a problem he believes can be resolved in the blink of an eye.
Addressing EFF supporters in the small village of Tebang in QwaQwa last Saturday, Malema also called on government to increase the senior citizens and child support grants. He said such individuals must also be registered as indigents.
With the November 1 local government elections around the corner, Malema sparked controversy on social media with a cryptic message applauding Maluti-A-Phofung residents who illegally connect electricity to their households.
However, he unapologetically insisted that his remarks were basically meant to expose the local government’s incompetence.
“I don’t promote the illegal connection of electricity, but every household should have the electricity. We are here to remind ourselves not to make a mistake on the 1st of November, because if we do we will be prolonging our suffering for the next five years,” Malema said.
He added that his party was also aware of acts of corruption and malfeasance in the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality, and has plans to tackle the scourge.
“Once we take over the administration of this municipality, we will investigate and conduct a skills and qualifications audit of all municipal officials as we are aware that there are those who have found employment fraudulently,” he said.
Even though Chapter 2 of the National Constitution states that ‘everyone has a right to have access to sufficient food and water’, Maluti-a-Phofung has for a while been described as a ‘dysfunctional municipality’ due to the water supply crisis.
Former minister of water and sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, allocated more than R200-million last year to address the water crisis in the municipality, but some residents are still without water and are forced to work and find ways to survive under these conditions.