Government officials descend on Hammanskraal on service delivery drive
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Pretoria - Hammanskraal residents, motorists and taxi operators were excited to see local and provincial government officials united to place their needs first when they also had service delivery promises made.
They revelled as MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo and his counterpart in the City of Tshwane Dikeledi Selowa pulled up their sleeves to put actual work in on Saturday.
Residents and members of the taxi industry in the area north of Pretoria gathered at various locations to witness the officials participate in patching potholes and road maintenance across the township, while motorists and taxi operators were assisted with the troublesome request slots to renew driving licences.
This was complemented by the establishment of two vaccination sites at Kopanong and Jubilee taxi ranks, where taxi operators and passengers queued to register to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Spokesperson for the Tshwane taxi industry under the South African National Taxi Council and National Taxi Alliance McDonald Makata commended Mamabolo and Selowa for pulling crowds to the taxi ranks.
He praised the politicians actions, which saw numerous members of the Temba Taxi Association and their passengers brave the Hammanskraal heat to receive their jabs and then make arrangements with representatives of the Road Traffic Maintenance Co-operation to have their driving licences renewed.
Makata said: “As a taxi industry we are really blessed and appreciate this initiative taken by MEC Mamabolo because he is the people’s person. He listens when we talk and this is for the convenience of our drivers as it helps a lot because they spend 16 hours on the road.
“The reason you see a large number of drivers vaccinating today is because the services are nearer to them. Now when they are done they will go and request a slot to renew their driving licences which we appreciate because doing it by themselves online was just a nightmare.
“Couple this with the initiative to patch the potholes here in Hammanskraal and we are very happy because these were no longer potholes but pure holes. We will save on vehicle maintenance costs. This says a lot about the MEC really thinking about the taxi industry like this.”
Passengers who took their jabs included Mike Boredi and Nomsa Mathunzi, who said they had been procrastinating because vaccination sites seemed a bit too isolated.
Mathunzi said: “As a woman I am also happy to see such great service coming to our people, especially at a time when a woman like MMC Selowa is among the men, showing leadership and inspiring us and our daughters that women too can lead and bring services to the people.”
Selowa said they were rendering a provincial government initiative, where the City was participating in road maintenance. Roadworks became intensified as Mamabolo's department came in also to fix roads that belong to the provincial government within the Hammanskraal area, she said.
“The problem with Hammanskraal is that it is a flat land with a lot of underground water, so it is not just about delivering roads to Hammanskraal but what we are doing in our various projects is that we are putting in stormwater infrastructure.
“When you build a road without the stormwater infrastructure here in Hammanskraal the water is going to eat away at the road that is going to be out there. Now in our planning we are including the stormwater infrastructure so that we do not have houses that flood.”
Motorist Dan Letsatsi said Hammanskraal was the home of potholes and seeing all the big and smaller roads revamped aggressively in one weekend was impressive and encouraging.
Mamabolo said this was part of the department’s Smart Mobility Weekends project which has travelled across all municipalities in Gauteng and was making its last stop in Tshwane after starting in Bronkhorstspruit last weekend.
He said: “The new addition is the vaccination programme, and already the response level is very good. We have also added the Request A Slot Campaign and with that too we are pleased with the response.
"I am very much pleased to announce that since we started with the Request A Slot Campaign a few days ago we have seen 9 600 requests made by the public.
“We said to the people you will wait 30 days to get your slots but within just seven days we already issued 7 400 slots out of that 9 600. The 2 200 remaining will get their slots during this coming week.”