The unfinished road that has left commuters in the Harammbuda district furious. Photo supplied.

Residents threaten with total shutdown


Communities from Harammbuda have threatened to embark on a full-blown shutdown of the area, should the Limpopo government fail to address their road problems amicably. The roads in question are the D3695 road from Tshandama to Ha-Khakhu and the D3674 from Matavhela to Tshixwadza.

The community structures have had several meetings and engagements with the government in the past but with very little to show for it. Angered by the government’s lack of response, community members filled two buses and headed for Polokwane on Tuesday, 9 April, to hand over a memorandum of grievances to MEC for Public Works Ms Nkakareng Rakgoale. Unfortunately, the MEC was not present to receive it.

The angry residents who braved the chilly weather chanted freedom songs and waved placards outside the MEC’s offices before handing over the memorandum to the HOD, Mr Mothlanke Phukhutsi.

Community leader Mr Delta Munyadziwa said they had had enough of empty promises from the government. “MECs have come and gone with nothing being done for us,” he said. He added that only MEC Nandi Ndalane had achieved some success, and during her time a five-kilometre stretch of the road between Makhithani and Pile had been constructed. This was done in 2019 as the first phase, and the rest remains untouched.

“MEC Dickson Masemola has not even bothered to commit himself. Countless correspondences and engagements have not borne fruit. Despite the road being budgeted for and a consultant and contractor being appointed, no road was constructed. Meetings have been held with the current MEC, Nkakareng Rakgoale, but no positive outcomes were achieved,” he said.

Munyadziwa said that on 4 April, MEC Rakgoale and her entourage, which included Thulamela Mayor Sarah Rambuda and RAL CEO Mr Gabriel Maluleke, had met with the community at the Rambuda traditional offices, but the meeting had not yielded any positive results.

“That was the last straw, and we are very angry. The situation has been further aggravated by the absence of the MEC and her failure to receive our memorandum. It is a clear sign of undermining the Rambuda community. We have waited far too long for the government to construct the road. We have tried everything, including meetings, letters, and memorandums, but all seems not to work,” Munyadziwa said.

Residents present at the protest march were very sceptical as to where the money allocated for the road projects ended up. “What is making us even angrier is that they want to re-gravel the road, which we feel is a waste of taxpayers’ money as the gravel would be washed away when it rains,” said Mr Bernard Ndweleni Riseng, one of the march organisers.

The community’s demands include completion of the 27 km section of the D3695 road between Pile village and the Khakhu area in the 2024/2025 budget. They also demand that the D3674 road linking Matavhela and Tshixwadza be upgraded.

In the memorandum, the government is given seven days to respond in a way that explains how and when the road problems will be addressed. “Should this fail, a total shutdown will be the only option left,” Riseng said.

Mr Mothlanke, Public Works HOD, received the memorandum on behalf of the MEC and promised the marchers a response.


News - Date: 18 April 2024

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Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.