Perspective- 23 March 2007

Billboard saves Schweizer-Reneke
Issue Date: 23 March 2007

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Fed up with the slow pace of service delivery from the Schweizer-Reneke municipality, a member of the North West town’s business chamber decided on a rather eye-catching form of protest.

Kobus Smit had this signboard made, which boldly apologises for the poor state of roads and infrastructure in the town. The move comes at a time when a spate of violent protests over poor service delivery has rocked various small towns and townships in the province, including Khutsong near Carletonville – which was incorporated into North West after parliament passed a law dealing with new municipal demarcation – Boikhutso near Lichtenburg, and Boitumelong township near Bloemhof.

Smit told Farmer’s Weekly he’s received calls of support from many people in small towns in other provinces such as Limpopo and KZN. Smit said he was ordered by local government authorities to remove the sign, but refused after seeking legal advice. And it appears as though the protest is working. Municipal workers have started clearing up rubbish lying in the town’s streets, and Smit will be having a meeting with local government officials this week, where targets for fixing potholes in the roads and getting services sorted out will be set. – Gregory Rule

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