AfriForum to drag Ramaphosa to court over poor services in the Free State
AfriForum has announced intentions to take President Cyril Ramaphosa to court over the Free State's Mafube local municipality's lack of service delivery.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the civil rights organization and the Mafube Business Forum announced that they would challenge Ramaphosa and 16 other respondents at the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
Despite the fact that Sisi Ntombela, the Free State's leader, was born in Frankfort, residents of this once affluent town receive no municipal services. The municipality is officially bankrupt... regular water shortages, no refuse collection, a broken sewage system, and potholes are just a few of the issues that residents face.
"Moreover, the municipality has not sent any municipal accounts for several years," stated Mafube Business Forum spokesperson Jacques Jansen van Vuuren.
The application is being filed on behalf of the residents of Frankfort by the forum.
The court case is expected to create crucial legal concepts that will allow communities to manage municipal services when they have utterly failed.
The organization, according to Van Vuuren, is seeking full legal guidance.
"Among other things, we're looking for an order that would allow us to run a variety of municipal services for a limited time until the national government intervenes to restore services," Van Vuuren said.
"These management services will be paid for out of the general revenue." After a long battle with the municipality to provide basic utilities, we are hoping for a favorable court verdict. The society is fed up with hollow promises and graft."
Although local governments are autonomous, according to Morné Mostert, manager of local government issues at AfriForum, there is still a supervision authority within the constitution for the province government to guarantee that these services are provided.
The provincial government was aware of the municipality's concerns in this case, but did nothing to help. This is why it is the responsibility of the national government to ensure that services are provided. If the state does not meet with constitutional conditions, the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, as well as the president, must act, according to Mostert.
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