‘When you want votes you go deep in villages without tar roads’: Mbalula slammed for ‘blunt’ pothole response
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has come under fire for his blunt response to a query about potholes on the R555 in Limpopo.
He responded to a social media user who raised an issue after a sibling almost lost her life in an accident allegedly caused by potholes on the road.
In his response, Mbalula said the road belongs to regional authorities and should be fixed by the province.
This is regional road,Province must sort it.— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) March 2, 2021
Mbalula’s response drew criticism from many people, including music producer Prince Kaybee, who told Mbalula all roads in the country were his responsibility.
“The people are calling on you because the provincial departments are failing to deliver safe roads. Let’s fix problems, not pass blame,” he said.
Grootman Mbaks🙏🏾— THE 4TH REPUBLIC (@PrinceKaybee_SA) March 2, 2021
As the minister of transport all roads are your responsibility, your department sets the service delivery mandate for provinces. The people are calling on you because the provincial departments are failing to deliver safe roads. Lets fix problems not pass blame! https://t.co/rjEZCRUO79
Normalise cyberbullying politicians on this app. Especially Fikile Mbalula who doesn't want to do his job.— Thendo Muloiwa (@MuloiwaThendo) March 2, 2021
Thing is they even have someone employed to run his account. If a staff member thinks it’s okay to respond to someone like that, it’s because they mirror you and your attitude. If I did that, mphathi would have me out by the end of the day. It’s unacceptable— Busi (@MsManager_) March 2, 2021
So Mr Mbalula you can’t follow them and ask Province about Regional Road? As Minister— Melo_Photography (@Bhuti_melo) March 2, 2021
The fact that people on Twitter had to bully Fikile Mbalula, a whole minister into properly responding to a query is disgusting. How do you not know your own job bruh?— MPHO 🌻 (@MphoMoalamedi) March 2, 2021
Following the backlash, Mbalula said he had alerted the relevant MEC to attend to the R555.
“This is a regional road under the Limpopo roads agency. We will alert the provincial government as the responsible party for intervention.”
The National department of transport is responsible for national roads through SANRAL. This is a regional road under the Limpopo Roads Agency - we will alert the provincial government as the responsible party for intervention 👍🏾 https://t.co/ddt1HWbjAa— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) March 2, 2021
He also issued an apology for his tweet, saying it was not about being without empathy for the social media user as most “seek to rebrand my tweet for stating the facts”.
“The MEC has responded and I will follow up to ensure the road is fixed,” he said.
My tweet was not been less empathetic to you ,As most in this app seek to rebrand my tweet for stating the fact.The mec has responded and i will mame folloup to ensure the road is fixed.— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) March 2, 2021
In a separate tweet, Mbalula explained which departments were in charge of roads.
N1= NATIONAL ROAD— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) March 2, 2021
R1= provincial Roads
M1= local manucipality road this department is a concurrent function road maintenance its attend to by each tier of government.
FACT : Transport is a concurrent function regional roads fall under pronvincial government they are responsible for maintenance,I have alerted the mec to attend to R555 road.— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) March 2, 2021