The Plight of Struizendam

| April 2, 2015

Located just a stone throw from Transfrontier National park, deep down in the sandy Kgalagadi District, the secluded village of Struizendam has some necessary amenities such as a clinic, primary school and a kgotla.

Getting to this sleepy village can be a hustle because you have to endure a few kilometers of uncomfortable driving on a gravel road from Boksipts where the tarred road ends.

The residents of this village lament the bad road situation saying it is high time this road is tarred because they sometimes spend days hitch hiking to Bokspits and spending nights away from their homes due to lack of transport.

BOPA visited the village recently and caught up with the village authorities to get first-hand information on how they survive. Kgosi Isaac Titus of Struizendam pointed out that his people are suffering because there is lack of a tarred road.

He said if the road from Bokspits to their village could be tarred, their standard of living will be improved and more developments will follow.

Kgosi Titus said apart from developments, he believes that the road will improve service delivery in their village because at the moment no one wants to work there since the roads are in a bad state.

“Because of the bad state of our road, when residents want to go Tsabong or when civil servants go on leave ,they have to use at least P200.00 to get to Bokspits and catch public transport”, he said.

He pointed out that our country is also losing a lot of money because tourists prefer using South African roads to get to Kalahari Transfrontier Park where quite a handful of locals are employed.

He added that if the road is busy they could build some shops in the village to sustain themselves and create employment. He further said beneficiaries of the poverty eradication program who run tuckshops get their stock from Tsabong and because they do not have reliable and cheap public transport, their projects end up collapsing.

On other issues Kgosi Titus said they need offices and civil servant’s accommodation. He said the few civil servants in the village are renting Village development houses which do not have basic necessities such as electricity and water.

For his part the VDC chairman Mr Klaas Matthys concurred with Kgosi Titus that they need a tarred road in their village and accommodation of offices and civil servants.

He said it is disheartening that though most of them are poor they have to use a lot of money to get to Bokspits whenever the need arises because the bad state of their road which has now led to lack of public transport.

One of the residents Ms Dinah Matthys said often when they have to go to Tsabong, they are forced to spend a night at Bokspits because of lack of transport.

The Member of Parliament for the area Mr Frans Van der Westhuizen said he is aware of the conditions of the Struizendum road, pointing that he will continue to lobby for its construction.

He said the road does not only affect residents but also affect farmers next to it because if it was tarred they will transport their goods easily and even be able to get electricity connected in their farms.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: News

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