Angry residents gathered just outside Louis Trichardt on Monday morning and displayed placards listing their grievances. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.
Date: 22 January 2024 By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Several roads in Vhembe, including the D3715, the D959, the R522, and the N1 leading to and from Louis Trichardt, were blocked on Monday (22 January) by protesters demanding road upgrades and improved services.
The strike is supported by residents of the Sinthumule and Kutama area, as well as Tshikota township. Protesters stated that their participation in the strike was a result of the government's failure to fulfil its promise to build more secondary roads. Residents are specifically demanding the completion of phase II of the rehabilitation of the D3715 from Madodonga. In addition to the deteriorating roads, the shortage of water and poor electricity in their villages were also highlighted as reasons for the strike.
On Monday morning, many local schools closed, and workers were unable to report for duty. Very few taxis and no buses operated.
The chairperson of the Zoutpansberg Community Development Forum (ZCDF), Mr Patrick Sikhutshi, expressed frustration, stating that they have had enough of empty promises from the Department of Public Works and Makhado Municipality. Since 2022, all they have received are promises to rehabilitate the road.
“Every time Public Works officials promise to rehabilitate the road, which is only eight kilometres from Madodonga to Tshikhodobo,” he said, adding that there have been no improvements. “Taxi and bus owners are tired of having their precious minibuses run along this road because it wears off their vehicles in a matter of a few weeks. It is difficult to drive on this road when it has rained. We need a proper road here,” he said.
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.