Favours for friends

Municipal grader and water tanker used to grade road for funeral

ABUSE OF RESOURCES: A municipal grader was used to grade the Trappes Valley dirt road for a funeral for the mother of former mayor Sipho Tandani last week Picture: COERT HERBST

NDLAMBE municipal resources were used to grade a provincial rural road from Bathurst to Trappes Valley as a favour to a former mayor because of a funeral procession to his mother’s gravesite last Saturday.

Farmer Coert Herbst alerted TotT to the use of the municipal grader and water tanker last week and took photographs.

He found out it was being done for the funeral of former mayor Sipho Tandani’s mother.

“They [municipal employees] first drove all the way out the previous Saturday to grade the road into Trappes Valley station and at the old railway cottages. Also the short road to an unlawful graveyard next to the railway line,” Herbst said.

PERSONAL INTEREST: A portion of the Trappes Valley road that was graded leads to the old railway cottages and gravesite of former mayor Sipho Tandani’s mother Picture: COERT HERBST

“Last week the grader and water truck graded the road from Bathurst to the entrance of the graveyard.” It covers a distance of about 7km.

The grading of the road took place in the broader context of farmers having asked for years for roads like this to be graded – a provincial competency – and their requests fell on deaf ears.

Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa said municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni had tried to contact the provincial engineer responsible for roads and transport in the area of Ndlambe, but could not get a response from him until last Thursday.

“We had to grade the road ourselves and later discuss how the department of roads and transport would compensate us for work done,” Mbolekwa said.

See the full story in this week’s Talk of the Town.

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