Byline: Nonjabuliso Nhlambo

20 July 2022

The residents of Bethal took to the streets on a peaceful march to Eskom and Govan Mbeki municipal offices in Bethal on Monday, 18 July 2022 as part of their 67 minutes on Mandela day.

The march was sparked by the lack of service delivery, electricity and poor roads maintenance in Bethal, eMzinoni and Milan park.
The march was started from the taxi rank all the way to the Eskom and municipal offices.

The first stop was at the Eskom offices where a memorandum of demands was delivered to a representative of Eskom, Mr Jonathan Baloi outside Eskom office.

Amongst the demands were the following;
Noted as number 1 on the memorandum; A notified maximum demand.
The community of Bethal hereby give a written instruction to Eskom to increase the NMD from 18.8 to 30 within 7 days from 18/07/2022.
The community cannot be held responsible for GMM not paying Eskom when the community does actually pay for the electricity that they use. The money goes missing within GMM Not the community. GMM Council is a ANC Lead council, Eskom is a state owned enterprise, the state is ANC lead, so one state department, owes another state department and we the people suffer because of that.

The next stop of the march was at the municipal offices where a memorandum of demands was delivered to the Executive Mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality Cllr Nhlakanipho Zuma who was accompanied by MMC of planning and development Thandi Ngxonono.

Amongst the long list of demands are;
Noted no 1 on the memorandum; “We want in writing from the council of GMM that Bethal NMD (notified maximum demand) be lifted to 30mw”.
Noted no 8 on the memorandum; “We further demand that the MMC of planning and Development be suspended without pay until all cases pending against her are finalized.
This must happen with immediate effect.
She must not report an hour more from today in office”.

The community members further demanded for the financial resources of GMM not to be used in the defence of the said cases pending against the MMC.
Demands numbered 1 to 33 were listed on the memorandum with some demanding for the removal of certain employees from the municipal offices.
Both Eskom and GMM were given a period of 7 working days to respond back to Bethal, eMzinoni and Milan Park through to local newspapers.