Byline: Andani Matumba

19 July 2022

The company that provides Asphalt was allegedly threatened by municipality officials to stop providing the community of Leslie with the waste material which they were using to fix their roads.

It is said that representatives from the community and Pr Cllr. Vusi Peterson liaised with the municipal office manager, Mr JJ Masilela about their intentions to fix the roads which lead schools so that scholar transport and buses may be able to convey learners without getting stuck during rainy seasons or on rainy days.

This follows after Peterson was able secure waste Asphalt from a company located in Boksburg which was willing to assist the community of Leslie in the rehabilitation of the road for free and although it was not a permanent solution, it would have minimized the road infrastructure issue.

Pr. Cllr Peterson said that the misfortune occurred after he received a call from Mr Masilela about the trucks entering Leandra with Asphalt.

Trucks delivering Asphalt for the refurbishment of the roads in Leslie when they were allegedly stopped by municipal official

“Mr Masilela called me on the morning of the 15th of July about trucks entering Leslie with tons of Asphalt and I told him that they were going to help us refurbish the surface of the gravel road, he then instructed me to stop the whole project and lead the trucks out of Leslie because I am disrespectful,” said Peterson.

Pr. Cllr Peterson further stated that the elders of the community as well as community representatives have tried multiple times to visit Mr Masilela at his office so that they get clear answers on why they are not allowed to refurbish their roads when the municipality is failing to so but he failed to treat everyone with respect, dignity and humility.

He told them to “get out of his office”.

Community members of Leslie laying the Asphalt on the gravel road before it was leveled

It is further alleged there was concrete which was donated to the community of Leslie and was later taken by a Cllr in Embalenhle so that is serves the community of Embalenhle.

One of the community members who was with Pr. Cllr Peterson during the negotiation processes said it seems as as this issue has been politicized because when we request for assistance, the municipality never responds or not complete its task in full.

When questioned about his actions, Mr Masilela said he was appointed through a submission of CV and was not voted into office.

Therefore one would wonder if the municipality serves the interest of all its residents or there are favorites who serve service delivery.

Executive Mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality, Cllr Nhlakanipho Zuma says the municipality welcomes any kind of help from the third party or external stakeholders, however since there was communication from the beginning of the initiative between PR Cllr Peterson and Mr Maselela he cannot comment any further without the contents of the conversation or agreement.

“It could be that proper channels and processes were not followed in carrying out the said initiative because Mr Masilela has to account for everything that happens in his area of management,” said the Executive Mayor confirming to get a brief on the issue and to advise accordingly.