DA demands action to save Fochville Civic Centre after oversight visit

Issued by Cllr Lindy Maritz – DA Ward 14 Councillor in Merafong
29 May 2023 in Press Statements

Note to editors: Please find attached oversight pictures here, here and here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) recently conducted an oversight visit to the Fochville Civic Centre, uncovering a multitude of alarming deficiencies that threaten the safety, functionality, and overall maintenance of this vital community facility. The DA calls upon the Merafong Local Municipality to address these pressing concerns urgently.

During the oversight visit, it became evident that the Fochville Civic Centre lacks proper security mechanisms at the gates, leaving the facility vulnerable to unauthorized access and potential risks. This alarming oversight raises serious concerns about the safety of visitors, staff, and the valuable resources housed within the centre. (see here, here,)

Furthermore, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, employees working at the Fochville Civic Centre have been deprived of essential communication tools, as there are no telephones available. This impediment hampers their ability to carry out their duties efficiently and compromises their effectiveness in serving the community.

In addition to the absence of basic communication infrastructure, the absence of a receptionist at the front desk undermines the functionality of the centre as well. Visitors are left without proper guidance and support, hindering their access to the services and information they require.

The state of disrepair at the Fochville Civic Centre is further exemplified by the presence of moles, which have been actively digging holes on the premises. This poses a potential hazard to both visitors and staff, as well as jeopardising the structural integrity of the facility.

Moreover, the lack of maintenance is apparent throughout the centre. Broken windows remain unfixed, bathrooms are devoid of adequate lighting and proper maintenance, and the sound room is entirely dysfunctional. Additionally, the main hall’s leaking roof and doors closed with makeshift logs of wood present serious infrastructural concerns that require immediate attention. These deficiencies create an unsuitable environment for community activities and events, limiting the full potential of the Fochville Civic Centre as a hub for community engagement.

Sanitation and cleanliness were also found to be lacking, with only one outside dustbin available for waste disposal. Employees are burdened with the responsibility of picking up litter themselves, while the maintenance of the grass around the premises is, at times, left to their own devices.

The DA is taking all steps possible within the Merafong Local Municipality to address these issues urgently. We will be writing to the Municipal Manager asking for immediate action from the municipality to upgrade security measures, provide the necessary telecommunications infrastructure, appoint a receptionist, exterminate the moles, and invest in comprehensive maintenance to restore the Fochville Civic Centre to its rightful status as a well-maintained and secure community facility.

We will also be running a community petition to this effect to demonstrate that this is one of the needs of Fochville residents. (see petition link here)

By addressing these concerns promptly, the Merafong Local Municipality will demonstrate their commitment to serving the Fochville community and providing them with a safe, functional, and vibrant civic centre.