Construction of much-needed roads in Limpopo on pause amid legal battle

Two road construction projects, worth R70 million, have been stopped following an interim court interdict in the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality in Burgersfort, Limpopo.

The municipality has been interdicted to implement the project to construct a bridge at Magakala and the construction of streets at Mashung Village in Ga-Nkoana in Mohlaletsi in Apel.

Loge Construction Company obtained an interim court interdict at the High Court in Polokwane to stop the project in January.

The company is challenging the municipality’s decision to disqualify it in the bid.

The municipality says the company failed to provide required documents.

DA leader, Lethabile Kgwedi, and the leader of the Socialist Agenda of Disposed Africans, Aubrey Ngwatle in the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality, have welcomed the interim court interdict.

“We have noted with great concern the interim court judgment handed down by the Polokwane High court on the 26th of January 2021 we view therefore view this disqualification as an extremely rational and unfair decision. It was wrong and unconstitutional to reject the company on the basis that they didn’t submit original letter which proves that they have been exempted as a company from paying tax,” they say.

Poor road conditions

SANCO sub-regional chairperson in the municipality, Putiputi Mokgakala, says communities are disappointed that they have to put up with poor road conditions for longer.

“As the community members, we felt that it bring service delivery to the people. The unfortunately part is that we are worried about the interdict and the very same thing that worries us is the person who interdicted the project is the one who was milking the municipality down into the grave. We want the municipality to make thrall arrangement and arrange so that this thing can be taken to court immediately and the bridge be built as soon as possible as we are experiencing rain,” says Mokgakala.

Taxi operators affiliated to the Eastern Leolo Taxi Association at Burgersfort say the poor road conditions at the mining community are affecting their business. They are accusing the municipality of not implementing plans by the government to re-construct the road.

The association’s secretary, Prince Maluleke, says the poor conditions have led to damages to their vehicles.

“The road that is coming from town from corner R37 and Bothashoek road going towards Praktiseer up until Motodi cross, there is no tar road, there potholes everywhere. When it rains, there is a dam full of water you can’t even pass all the roads from R37, corner R37 from Bothashoek up until Ga-Motodi cross and then when you  use the other one coming from R555 the Orighstad road corner Penge and R555 going towards Alberton road still the same,” he says.

Maluke says the association has applied for a protest march, which will lead to the shutdown of taxi services on Wednesday.

“We have arranged a protest that will be shutting down town. All the all the other taxi operators will be affected by the strike they will include those travelling from Polokwane to Burgersfort. We’ll be using the R37 that is joining R555 those two roads we’ll be closing them down.”

The municipality and the contractor refused to comment on the matter. The municipality, however, informed SABC News that the Public Roads Department, led by MEC Dickson Masemola, is aware of the poor state of roads in the area. The department is yet to comment on the issue. – Additional reporting by Katlego Nyoni. 

Source: SABC News (