North East District residents are unanimous that the loop road connecting Ramokgwebana in the North East District with Sebina Village in the Tutume sub-district is the worst menace of the moment for motorists and other concerned villagers.
All the ministers who have had the opportunity of addressing kgotla meetings in the district have had to endure the aura of answering questions concerning when government intended to upgrade the road into a user friendly double lane as it has become an unbearable hazard to its users.
Even Charles Tibone, the area Member of Parliament for Tati East, is agonized by the state of the road. He has in previous interviews admitted to the poor state of the road and the hazard it poses to its users.
The problems of the road are not only confined to the lapse of its life span. Its edges have been effectively washed away by the rains. The road is extremely narrow and motorists are forced to give way in order to avoid imminent head-on crashes.
Despite its poor state, the road has of late become a connecting point for commercial traffic from Namibia via the Ngoma border post through Ramokgwebana border post into Zimbabwe. Namibians travelling to Zimbabwe have turned into using it as a shorter route.
Addressing a kgotla meeting in the village of Mapoka Wednesday, the Assistant Minister of Local Government, Maxwell Motowane, like many others who have graced the village kgotla before him, was taken to task on what government was doing to have it upgraded. And exactly when government intended to upgrade it.
The minister admitted the poor state of the road and promised that once the economy improved, it will be upgraded. VDC vice chairperson, California Kombani, Golekwang Gomba and Moemedi Julius had just complained to the minister over lack of transport as a result of the poor state of the road which had prompted bus operators’ reluctance to apply for permits to operate in the loop road.
The poor state of the road was said to be affecting delivery of other social services in the district.
In his maiden address, the minister apologized over his failed visit last year but encouraged the residents to submit their development projects proposals so that once the economy improved, they would be considered.
The minister also cautioned the people on ARV treatment against taking the drugs alongside alcohol, adding that had it not been for shortage of health personnel, most of the health facilities in the country would be adequately staffed.
He also warned that shebeens were a serious concern as they impeded children development and contributed to the problem of teenage pregnancies.
The minister encouraged the villagers on the spirit of volunteerism and warned against the commission of crimes, especially by the youth. This was after the village chief, Edward Habangana, had complained about soaring crime rates.
Welcoming the minister and his delegation, Habangana complained that crime in the village was on the increase alleging that some villagers were conspiring with illegal Zimbabwean immigrants in the commission of burglaries and thefts.
“Perpetrators are never caught. I suspect some stolen goods are hidden in some of our houses. If the perpetrators are Zimbabweans, where do they get information about the absence of a particular occupant and then strike? Obviously there are some among us who are conniving and giving such information to those Zimbabweans,” lamented Habangana.
The chief decried that the village headman do not have power to preside over cases and if the chief is not available, service delivery to the villagers from the tribal administration stalls, adding that the current set up was overstretching the chiefs in delivering services to their people.
Responding to the concerns raised by the villagers, the assistant minister implored the villagers to report labour regulations violations to the Labour Department for remedial action.
The villagers also complained about the Ipelegeng feeding programme suggesting that the money used in the feeding programme should instead be channeled into raising the Ipelegeneg wages.
They also requested the minister to ask government to raise old age pension as they felt it was too little. The payout is currently P220-00.