Barely two weeks after the handover of the controversial animal drawn-carts given to 20 households in Dibono and Manawana villages around Mahikeng, North West, some recipients are complaining their carts are breaking.
Unlike some recipients, Mokete Mokoloko had donkeys, which meant he could start operating immediately.
Quality of donkey carts questioned
“To be honest with you, I was very happy after receiving this gift from the government but the feeling was short-lived as it did not last for more than two days.
“My donkey-cart was broken a day after I received it. I got so frustrated because this was supposed to be a blessing, not a curse.
“I have since reported this matter to the local guys who are responsible for fixing our donkey carts but it is still with them as we speak,” Mokoloko said.
“Its roof was made out of something like a tent. When they came to collect it to be fixed, they put corrugated iron on the roof to protect us from the rain.
“But I am starting to question the quality of those carts. I doubt they will live much longer.
“These donkey carts are important as they could change our lives,” Mokoloko said.
He used his to take his two kids to and from school, fetch water from communal taps and fetch firewood to sustain himself.
The provincial department of community safety and transport on Monday defended its “unpopular” decision to spend a staggering R780 000 on manufacturing the carts.
According to the department, there is a three-year maintenance plan at no cost to the user. It also claimed there are some locals who have been trained to execute the maintenance plan on behalf of the service provider.
“The bidding process was completed within the validity period of the bid and all applicable processes of Section 217 of the constitution,” spokesperson Oshebeng Koonyaditse said.
Political parties call for probe
Political parties are calling for a probe into the awarding of the tender.
Freddy Sonakile, Democratic Alliance’s member of the provincial legislature, said a formal complaint was laid at the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
This came after it was revealed that LTK Enterprise, that secured the tender for manufacturing the carts, was said to be in the process of deregistration.
The department then claimed the company was LTK Enterprice, not Enterprise.
Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West criticised the government.
“It is unheard of that a donkey cart may have a maintenance plan of three years.
“The department must come clean and clarify what is there to maintain,” Cosatu provincial secretary, Kopano Konopi, said in a statement.