By Vumani Mthiyane
Matshetsheni villagers in Gwanda district are facing critical transport problems due to poor roads which has seen the few available transport operators taking advantage of the situation to charge exorbitant fares.
Some of the villagers are forced to travel on foot to Gwanda town which is about 25km away.
Transport operators charge between 50 and 70 Rand for a single trip.
In an interview with ward 1 Councillor Stanford Nkala appealed to the government to provide them with cheaper buses.
Sinikiwe Dube from Masholomoshe village which is even more close to Gwanda town said what they are subjected to is day light robbery.
“This is ridiculous, honestly speaking our leaders must try something. A distance of less than 20km costs 50rand, these transport operators are robbing people.
We used to sell our agricultural produce from Masholomoshe irrigation in Gwanda town and transport was not an issue since it was reasonably affordable but now farmers can’t do that due to transport costs,” complained Dube.
Gwanda Rural District Council Chief executive officer Ronnie Sibanda said road infrastructure has always remained a challenge in the district but they are doing their level best to address the situation.
“Road infrastructure is a challenge but thanks to the country’s devolution agenda. We have prioritised road infrastructure as one of the projects that will be funded by devolution funds. Out of the 46 million devolution funds for 2019/2020 period we have so far received 12 million. From the received funds, we allocated the bulk of it to road infrastructure, clinics and schools,” said Sibanda.