The North West Province’s permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) expressed their shock at the state of Kraaipan village’s bridge, which collapsed during heavy rains in January.

The delegation visited bridge in Ratlou Local Municipality as part of the NCOP’s annual Provincial Week programme. The heavy rains also resulted in about 1 000 households in the area being inconvenienced and their access to essential services, such as health, schooling and shopping, being severely affected.

The seasonal rains severely damaged the bridge, which was built in 1985. Speaking at the site, the leader of the delegation and the Acting Provincial Whip, Mr China Dodovu, called on the Department of Public Works to urgently assess the extent of the damage and quantify the financial implications.

The bridge falls under the mandate of the local municipality. Mr Dodovu said: “We are urging the Department of Public Works to provide support to the Ratlou Municipality to ensure that the bridge is reconstructed for the benefit of the community.”

The Administrator of the Department of Public Works, which is under Section 100 intervention, Mr Molete Moremi, committed to provide support to the Ratlou Municipality to ensure that the bridge is rebuilt to ensure the restoration of normality to the community.

The MEC for Public Works, Mr Gaoage Molapisi, said that his department is currently undertaking an assessment of all bridges in the province with a view to intervene where necessary. Out of the 1 000 households affected by the collapse of the bridge, school learners are suffering, as there is only one secondary school in the area and it is situated on the other side of the bridge.

The delegation also visited the Sethwathwe Village near Madibogo to assess the 28 km P 1502 road construction, which is full of potholes. The delegation also visited Groot Marico Waste Water Treatment Plant, where communities complained that they were not consulted about the project and they are very unhappy about that.

Wiseman Nombanda
1 April 2022