It's not over until construction starts. So say residents of Austrey in Ganyesa, who have vowed to continue protesting and preventing learners from attending school, despite government's intervention.
Residents said they would only stop once a contractor is on site to begin construction of the tarreeld road they're demanding. It's been two months since protests began in three villages of Ganyesa: Austrey, Moswana and Goodwood, all because of a tarred road that residents said was promised years ago.
On Wednesday, a rapid response team of MECs deployed by Premier Job Mokgoro visited the area to assure residents that their demands were being attended. The government representatives pleaded with protesters to let learners attend school.
When responding to opposition parties’ questions about his State of the province address on Thursday, Mokgoro refuted claims that government has neglected the road infrastructure in Ganyesa.
“Honourable members it is not true that we have neglected the road infrastructure needs of the people of Ganyesa. We are hard at work to improve and upscale our rural road infrastructure and Kagisano Molopo is part of this programme,” the Premier said.
But one of community leaders, Leroy Kegoeng, said residents of Austrey in particular, would not allow their children to attend any catch-up camp set up for learners who missed out on lessons.
“Residents say that children will only go to the camp without their knowledge. As residents they do not want to see any child getting assistance, be it a matric learner or a primary school learner, getting assistance in terms of education until the contractor begins with work on site. And we are not interested in the process of the appointment of the contractor,” said Kegoeng.
The rapid response team told residents that the process of appointing a contractor would begin on Tuesday next week.