Story by: Godfrey Malekane
Do the mineral resources in Madidi village benefit the community members? This is the question that residents of the village keep asking themselves following the utilization of the sand by various construction companies without the community members being informed or consulted.
Madidi is a village alleged to be governed by a local municipality of Madibeng together with the tribal council (Bakgatla ba Mmakau).
Recently the community members embarked on a journey of finding answers regarding the state of the village.
Amongst the things that the disgruntled community is lobbing for is service delivery, accountability and transparency from the tribal office.
The residents allege that they are being sent from pillar to post when asking the tribal office about issues facing the community.
However, they are optimistic that they will find solutions to problems faced by the community at large.
On Saturday 10th August 2019 the community met with the tribal office bearers of Madidi village, where residents expected their questions to be answered as well as the report concerning the utilization of the sand within the village for construction purposes.
The tribal office produced three hand written documents that permitted the contractors to use the sand from the village.
The first letter states that contractors have the permission to use the sand without paying for it ( free usage of the village mineral resource by non residents of Madidi), with the signatures of the entire tribal office bearers.
The second one requested contractors to pay for the usage of the sand with one signature of that of Jeremiah Mashaba the chairperson of the tribal office.
The document was states that the three constructions should make a payment of R20 000 each which amounted to R60 000 in total.
The third letter ordered contractors to deposit money on which bank.
Members of the community were puzzled as to why the documents were hand written.
The tribal office defended the hand written letters by saying the office did not have a computer to type those documents.
“The office does not have enough resources,” said Mashaba.
Community members requested for proof of payment made by the contractors, they were told that the office does not have access to the account.
Mashaba recused himself as requested by the community members pending the investigations, however the chairperson requested to remain in office while the investigations take place so he can give clarity or accountability where necessary.
The community refused the request, they said the tribal office has turned the village into a mockery to the neighbouring villages.
The investigations are in process and tribal office keys are being taken from the officials, another report is expected to be issued on Saturday the 17th August 2019 as well as nominations of the acting Tribal office bearers.