Blogs

How local government elections work

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Make your Mark: do you know what you are voting for?

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On 3 August, millions of voters will exercise their right to vote and decide who controls South Africa’s 257 municipalities. The stakes are high because municipalities deal with basic services and parties are competing for control of powerful cities, such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini. At the same time, local elections are complicated. Most voters will have three votes to cast, there are wards, party lists, independents, local councils, district councils, metropolitan...
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Nelspruit township goes weeks without water

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By Cynthia Maseko As the country continues to weather a severe drought, parts of Nelspruit’s KaBokweni townships have been without water for three weeks after government departments scrambled to secure the water supplies of Themba Hospital and the local clinic. Families without water report paying R30 per 20 litres of water from local water truck owners (File photo) Illegal water connections, leaks and even theft are allegedly to blame for the...
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'Every time I need the toilet, I have to crawl to the nearby bushes'

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By Ndivhuwo Mukwevho For at least 19 000 South Africans living with disabilities, daily indignities are just part of their normal life as disabled people remain largely left behind in the country’s quest for sanitation and water. Since childhood, Shonisani Makhado has depended on crutches to assist him to walk and – like almost seven percent of disabled South Africans – Shonisani has no toilet. When nature calls, he must crawl out into the bush surrounding his home...
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New Limpopo dam to quench villagers’ thirst

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by Suprise Nemalale  A new dam is set to provide 10 Limpopo villages with access to clean, reliable water after years of complaints by local residents. A new dam in Limpopo is set to bring clean, reliable water to 10 villages in the province’s Vhembe District. For years, Thingahangwi Muleba has had to Villagers have to walk far distances to get water from rivers and streams. Health-e file photo. struggle to get water daily in his village...
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Mabopane water upgrade complete

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By Mishack Mahlangu  Following weeks of allegedly sporadic access to water in Mabopane’s Central View north of Pretoria, work to upgrade local water lines has been completed. Contractor Modera Business Projects began work to fix 400 metres of water pipes in the area on 3 February, according to Nene Modise, marketing and The project, managed by Odi Water Services, drew 80 percent of its labour from the local community, according to Odi Water...
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Mayor de Lille, here's your evidence. It's time for action.

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By Axolile Notywala Nomama Xesibe fetches water for her household in Mfuleni. Photo by Masixole Feni.  When Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille tabled the 2015/2016 draft budget last week, she said, “In my years as Mayor, not once has any substantive proof to counter our evidence of pro-poor spending ever been offered.” Download City of Cape Town draft budget. I would suggest that the burden of proof lies with the Mayor....
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By ignoring petitions, government encourages violent protest

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By Mimosa Delgaro Eastern Cape housing delivery protest. Photo by Mimosa Delgaro. The right to petition government is a fundamental right of all citizens in South Africa. A petition is a way of bringing a grievance or an issue of public concern to the attention of those in power. The Bill of Rights asserts that South Africans can hold a demonstration, a picket and present a petition. Likewise, the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000...
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Dirty water deliveries for Limpopo villages

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By Suprise Nemalale  At least two villages in Limpopo’s Mutale Local Municipality depend on municipal water trucks to survive but now villagers are claiming the trucks are delivering dirty water. The Limpopo villages of Helula and Tshikondeni depend on municipal water trucks for safe, clean water but now villagers claim that trucks are delivering filthy water from a nearby river.  Some Limpopo villagers claim that trucks are delivering filthy...
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Residents left to plead for water at school gates

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By Sphiwe Ntuli Phumlaphi Mkhabela lives in the rural community of Rooikop about 70 km south of Standerton, Mpumalanga. She claims that without taps and running water, the community relies on springs or pools of collected rainwater for water. Rooikop residents say they must beg water off a local school and are often turned away by school security guards (File photo). “Because we don’t have taps that supply us with water, we use (puddles of...
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