Public service 101, this wasn’t. Not at first, anyway: Fikile Mbalula has drawn the wrath of Twitter users on Tuesday, after his blunt response to a query about potholes in Limpopo put him at the centre of a self-created controversy.
Mbaks is well-known for his antics on Twitter, and with 2.4 million followers, he has certainly amassed an invested audience. However, many were left horrified when this complaint about the R555 found its way into his mentions…
A week ago a cyclist was killed after being knocked down by a vehicle that was trying to avoid this potholes on the R555 road near Rosenakal, yesterday at same spot, the potholes almost took my lil sister’s life from us. @MbalulaFikile pic.twitter.com/hYcp9K9M9X
— #FreePalestine 🇿🇦 🇵🇸 (@ntobengnkadimen) March 1, 2021
A fairly reasonable request, however, seemed to be shot down by the Transport Minister
Thousands of Twitter users were enraged by this flippant dismissal of a serious pothole issue. One of the top responses to Mbalula read; “you are selective when it comes to work, but when you want votes, you go very deep into the villages.”
However, the minister has been in damage control mode, and moved swiftly to clarify his position. The politician claimed his initial Tweet didn’t tell the whole story, and he has since informed the Limpopo Transport MEC about the matter. Urgent intervention for the R555 is now expected. All’s well that ends well, right?
“This is a regional road under the Limpopo Roads Agency – we will alert the provincial government as the responsible party for intervention. Transport is a concurrent function; regional roads fall under the provincial government, as they are responsible for maintenance. I have alerted the relevant MEC to attend to R555 road.”