COSATU Free State rejects the misleading setup created for the presidential visit to Matjhabeng Municipality

07 December 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Free State has observed with utter disgust how public funds have been spent in Matjhabeng Municipality over the past few weeks to stage a misleading ideal picture of the municipality to the president for the Presidential Imbizo on 07 December 2023.

Provincial and local government resources in the form or equipment and human resources have been dispatched immoderately at Thabong indoor sports centre for the past three weeks. These resources have been utilized around the venue to clean and to ensure that it is in good condition solely in preparation for the Presidential Imbizo.

We witnessed storm water channels being cleaned, debris being removed, sewerage spillage around the area maintained, grass cut, road markings refreshed and potholes closed! State resources in the form of police vehicles, state vehicles, traffic management vehicles and many other departments have congregated at the indoor sports centre just to make the presidential visit comfortable for the president and ministers whilst our people continue to live in terrible conditions.

Unfortunately, it has become common practice that whenever a minister or the president is scheduled to arrive, the state would go to great lengths to cushion them. This is disingenuous for the political and administrative leadership to go to great lengths to create a false impression for their political principals when they visit.

The Federation condemns this in the strongest possible terms. Whilst the police vehicles are congregated to plan on creating a false impression to the president, there are women and children who are awaiting police vehicles to deliver a protection order or to collect DNA samples after being raped. Whilst state vehicles are congregated there, a submission to facilitate the procurement of essential medicines is being delayed waiting for a vehicle to be available. Whilst this is happening, routine traffic operations are put-on hold in favour of motorcades to the venue, lives are being lost in the name of creating a facade.

It is our hope that the president will apply objectivity. We call on the political and administrative leaders to stop deliberately misleading him and the ministers by employing a curtain development or curtain maintenance on the venues of the imbizos for praise.

We call on our leaders to allow the president to see the real conditions in which our people and voters live.

The struggle continues!

Issued by COSATU Free State

For more information, please contact:

Monyatso oa Mahlatsi, (COSATU Free State Provincial Secretary)
Tel: 051 447 5499
Cell: 076 115 9923