Mariental Residents Establish Pressure Group

A civic organisation was established at Mariental to pressurise the local authority to improve service delivery and initiate development.

The civic organisation, which consists mainly of white members, is considering to register for and participate in the local authority elections scheduled for next year. Speaking to New Era yesterday, its chairman Chris Nel said the organisation is not politically aligned and will only focus on service delivery and protecting the interests of taxpayers.

“We are open for all inhabitants of the town, irrespective of where they reside and are inviting all people to join us,” he said. Nel said the organisation intends to see improvements in the way the administration of the affairs of the town is carried out. He added that the organisation is worried about functions such as refuse removal, cleaning of the town and the way plots are alienated, while the condition of the local cemetery also leaves much to be desired.

“The idea is not to get involved in politics, but merely to help the residents of Mariental to become masters of their own destiny and get involved in matters affecting them. We want to have an input in the handling of the budget as we are property taxpayers.

“The Mariental Civic Organisation has not just been established by the white community, but will represent all residents who have the interest of the town at heart,” said the businessman. The office-bearers of the organisation are ChrisNel (chairman), Marius du Plessies (vice-chairman), Thea Bothma (secretary), Piet Jansen (treasurer) and Rae de Lange (communications officer).

Meanwhile, the mayor of Mariental, Alex Kamburute, said the council is extremely disappointed with the new development at the town, charging it is an effort to take the town back to the pre-independence area.

“If the new organisation wants to take over the functions of the municipality then it (the municipality) can as well be dissolved,” said Kamburute. He is convinced the civic organisationis indeed a political pressure group to undo the progress made by the Swapo government since independence. He said if the group had good intentions from the beginning, why did it not invite all the people in a transparent manner so that those who are interested have the opportunity to attend their meetings. According to Kamburute members of the new group never attend council meetings where they could air their views. That is a platform for them to have a say in the activities of the local council. “They ignore our meetings,” Kamburute said.

Source : New Era