Ramaphosa Challenged by AfriForum Over Poor Services in Free State, Dragged to Court

Ramaphosa Challenged by AfriForum Over Poor Services in Free State, Dragged to Court

  • AfriForum and the Mafube Business Forum are attempting to resolve longstanding service delivery issues facing the Free State
  • The two groups have banded together to take President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Mafube municipality and other respondents to court
  • The Mafube Business Forum hopes the court will grant it a temporary order to oversee the management of basic services

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BLOEMFONTEIN - Civil society group AfriForum has initiated legal proceedings against President Cyril Ramaphosa over the lack of service delivery in the Fezile Dabi District's administrative area located in the Free State.

The civil rights organisation and the Mafube Business Forum announced plans to challenge the President, the Mafube Local Municipality and others in court. The matter will be heard in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

AfriForum, Mafube Business Forum, Service delivery, Free State, Premier, Sisi Ntombela, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mafube Local Municipality, Free State High Court, Bloemfontein
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been dragged for lack of services. Image: Maja Hitij/ Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Mafube Business Forum's Jacques Jansen van Vuuren lamented the "unbecoming" state of the previously affluent Frankfort, a small farming town situated on the banks of the Wilge River, with TimesLIVE reporting the forum was applying on behalf of the residents of the area.

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The forum insists the municipality has failed to deliver basic services to the community and surroundings, including Tweeling, Villiers and Cornelia, according to a BusinessTech report.

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Community won't tolerate empty promises

Apart from the plight of residents, who've also highlighted a longstanding issue with potholes and a dysfunctional sewage system, the municipality has not submitted its municipal accounts for some time, stretching back a few years.

"Despite Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela being a native of Frankfort, residents do not get any services there. Consistent water shortages and the lack of waste removal are some of the additional problems facing residents, [which even then are just the tip of the iceburg]," said van Vuuren.

Van Vuuren said he is hopeful of a favourable ruling that will give the forum the right to manage a range of municipal services for a fixed period until the government comes on board to ensure services are delivered smoothly.

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"We hope for a favourable ruling after a long-drawn fight that has spanned many years with the municipality over its lack of basic service delivery, which will be financed from the fiscus. The community will no longer tolerate empty promises and corruption," van Vuuren added.

Locals join the conversation

@Ian Roberts wrote:

"If people are paying rates? Why aren’t the services being delivered? Why aren’t the inefficient municipalities being dealt with? Why are the ministers not being held accountable?"

@Tebogo Ndlovu said:

"AfriForum is really doing a good job of galvanizing oppositions. We need such pressure to do the right things."

@Moeketsi Keke Nhlapo added:

"And that's how u win battles in SA. Afriforum has been forcing common sense onto government via the courts."

AfriForum wins ConCourt language policy bid

In a landmark Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling in September last year, the University of South Africa (Unisa) has been instructed to change its language policy to include Afrikaans.

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SABC News reported that the legal team representing Unisa, the largest open distance learning institution in Africa, stated that although the apex court ruled against their client, the institution will comply with the judgment.

As Briefly News understands, the ConCourt upheld a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) against Unisa's move to abandon learning and teaching in Afrikaans.

The court declared that Unisa was in contravention of Section 29(2) of the Constitution, which resolves that students of an institution, in this case, one of higher learning, have the right to receive an education in a language of choice, albeit official.

Source: Briefly News

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