Poor development planning costs Palapye residents

Palapye Junction Mall. PIC: KOKETSO KGOBOGE
Palapye Junction Mall. PIC: KOKETSO KGOBOGE

PALAPYE: Constituents in Palapye are complaining that the poor development planning of the village over the last decade has overwhelmed government institutions.

The residents of Palapye have decried this lack of foresight that has affected provision of services, ushering in more negatives than the objective of decent living as they had hoped for.

The surge in the population of the areas came as a result of the developments, resulting in the increased unemployment rate in the area, shortage of services at health facilities, inflated classrooms at schools, poor standard of living and escalating crime, the villagers reckoned.

The Palapye Primary Hospital (PPH) has widely complained about poor and inadequate service in the constituency. Constituents indicated health care is compromised at the PPH facility and it is failing to service the current populace. A common argument is that the facility is “old, small and unmanageable”.

Recurring shortage of medication, shortage of staff particularly doctors and nurses, low capacity admission bloc, old infrastructure and machinery were fingered as problems.

“Nothing ever works at the hospital. It is old and unmanageable, and that makes it dirty and unhygienic. The clinics are even worse. There are no medications and they refer patients back to the same hospital,” Temogo Mothubi, an elderly woman of Serorome Ward said.

Mothubi noted Palapye was long-promised a new health facility by the government, but have been waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. The issue of the new hospital, she said was mulled at a similar time as that of the police station.

“(A) police station was constructed and has been operating for many years and where is the hospital?” she rhetorically asked.

The pensioner also complained that unemployment was escalating in the village.  She said she has become a breadwinner with her old age pension since her children that completed senior secondary school were at home because of unemployment.

Mothubi said they had great expectations when developments were sprouting in the village. “The developments are not benefiting us. Our children cannot find jobs in Palapye. The problems are even worse these days because others resort to mugging people to make ends meet.”

Kemiso Mphotho of Extension 5 shared similar sentiments. She said Palapye had developed at the A1 Highway but inside the village, there has not been enough development activities and the villagers were sidelined.

“The malls (are) for people that travel past Palapye. Here (inside the village) it is stagnant; there is nothing for us. We don’t have income, so we are even failing to buy from the malls. There are no roads when it rains we get trapped indoors and taxis don’t help us,” she said.

She also touched on the hospital issue. “The hospital is a disaster. Imagine a patient spending the whole day at the hospital without a meal only to be told there is no medication.”

“We don’t know the benefit of voting anymore. We vote people into Parliament and council and they forget about us after assuming the positions, they only reappear when it is elections again.”

Dimpho Gadzane, a youth who relocated to Palapye in 2011 from Senate village to work at the construction of Morupule B Power Plant on a one-year contract, said he never got another job after it elapsed.  He survives through menial jobs.

“There was so much optimism for jobs in Palapye the way it was developing. There were so many construction activities. Now they are complete and we are struggling. Right now nothing is happening in Palapye, there are no opportunities for sustainable jobs,” he said.

Another youth, a resident of Serorowe Ward, who preferred anonymity, said she has six siblings and two primary school-going sons.

All her siblings are unemployed and they are all stuck at the family home. The non-existent opportunities for employment drove her to vending. She said she was struggling to accumulate profit as she helps feed the family on a daily basis.

“I sit here all day, but I hardly afford to reward myself at the end of the month because I have no choice but to contribute to everyday meals. My siblings survive out of Ipelegeng and it’s not every month that one gets an opportunity,” she said.

She felt she could be liberated if she had a plot, but the waiting period of land allocation was too long.

“I could afford my children if I stayed at my own house, but I have to wait 10 years to get a plot. Living in Palapye is becoming expensive by the day,” she said before revealing that she had not registered to vote because politicians have failed to deliver on their promises.

Candidate                     Political Party                 Votes

Moiserale M. Goya         BDP                               6771

Boniface Mankaku         UDC                               376

James M. Olesitse         BCP                                4732

Mortimer Nwako           Independent                    0

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