Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Clouds of dust force resident’s to barricade road

Twenty-nine angry residents in Matebeleng Village in Kgatleng District were taken by the police for questioning after they barricaded a road that passes through their village as a way of protest.

The villagers said they had long raised the issue of dust brought up by construction vehicles but no one listed to their concerns.

Residents felt that barricading the road had made an impact as government officials gave them an ear.

“We barricaded the road that goes through our village because of the thick dust that covers our village from morning to evening,” said Village spokesman Modise Madimabe. “This has now become a health hazard to the residents.”

Madimabe said the problem started a few months ago when the Mmamashia-Oodi road was upgraded and the villagers started to see increased traffic flow as the village is used as an access road by a road contractor.

He explained that because of the problem, the residents formed a committee to address the matter.
“We went to see the Minister of Transport and Communications as well as the Kgatleng District Council to register our grievance but to no avail,” he said.

He said the villagers kept on holding meetings to come up with a solution to their problem and after being continuously ignored, they came up with the idea to blockade the road as a way of protest.

“People don’t cook because of the thick dust,” he said, adding that “about 50 residents participated in the cutting of tree branches as well as blocking the road”.

Madimabe said that as soon as the council was informed that the villagers had blockaded the road, the Kgatleng District Commission, the road engineer and other relevant government officials came and “we agreed to have a meeting next week in-order to resolve the problem”.

The Station Commander of Broadhurst Police, Superintendent Garatweng Odumetse, said they rushed to Matebeleng Village after the villagers had barricaded the road and took in 29 residents, mainly females.

At the police station, the villagers were warned and released.

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