Q & A with Mayor Maripe Mangena

GTM Bulletin: Where were you born

My name is Maripe Mangena, I was born in Mogapene village, Shiluvane in the late 1960s. I only have one sister younger Mamokidi and me but I do have siblings from another mother in Cape Town, Stellenbosch where my dad lived for many years.

GTM Bulletin: Where did you attend school

I started my primary school at Mogapene Lower Primary, proceeded to Mmalahla Higher Primary then to the well-known Bokgaga High School. After matric I went to Kwena Moloto College of Education. Then in 1992 I started working as an Educator at my childhood school, Mmalahla. In 1993 I joined the local high school called Mokwane High school, and in 2003 I joined Molomahlapi High school in Maruleng Municipality. In 2006 I joined Mapula Primary School in Bolobedu South as Head Of Department until 2011 when I resigned to be full-time in the Greater Tzaneen Municipality Council.

GTM Bulletin: When did you realize your passion for politics and ventured into politics

Like many young people, growing in a poverty stricken area, an area that was directly and physically involved in a black on black ethnic based fights, an area where some had to travel over 10 km to access education. Where we had to witness brilliant minds dropping out of school because of lack if finances. These are the circumstances that were compelling for one to get involved in politics not as a passion for it was not necessarily an option.

GTM Bulletin: What is your political background

As highlighted, we got involved when we were around 17-years old as did many young people in my area led by the late cde Nkaswilavi, the late Mataung Rakgoale, Cde Lando and others. We were marshalled into many protest actions including Safari Bakery boycott and mobilising our communities to start refusing to pay the compulsory annual Bakgaga cool drink for the queen of the Maake tribe. Also the political environment of a demand for the recognized SRCs by Bo cde Banda, the current chairperson of one branch in Letaba, cde Kenny Nghomaneni Maake, the late Mogaleamalla Joseph and many others was inescapable. I did not lead at that stage. My conscious was strengthened by the pure pro black life drama that we started performing under a cultural club in 1987 organized and directed by Cde Rasemea Moribo. 

With this background, upon arrival at the college, I was nominated into the sub-committee of cultural committee of the SRC in 1989, October and was elected the head of that committee in Oct 1990 and served till 1991 Oct. I also served as the secretary of then SANSCO of Kwena Moloto that really brokered cooperation with the Seshego community which was severed and literally physical. 

Coming back home I started serving my community both politically (ANCYL, ANC,SANCO, SADTU) and socially at branch level from 1990  until 2014 when I was elected as the chairperson of the ANC MARKSHOPPE sub-region and GTM Chief Whip. I never had a two month break without political activity/engagement because I never belonged to an inactive structure for all this years up to date

GTM Bulletin: What are some of your achievements

Since when I was delegated to the ANCYL national conference on 16-20 Dec 1991 at the Kwa-Ndebele college through a branch mandate, and reported back to the BEC and BGM, all the branches I belonged to sustain that culture to the letter. We never had a meeting postponed due to a lack of quorum. We became the best ANC branch in 2011/12 in Mopani Region. Our branch and Ward 27 community remain most organized and responsive to any progressive programme. Out of the expected 40 quarterly community meetings in my ten years of Ward councillorship, 38 were successfully held The leadership collective I lead is more united beyond imagination both politically and governance.

We have delivered the State of the Ward for ward 27 since 2011 and it is now a GTM council policy.

GTM Bulletin: What are your views on the current state of Tzaneen

The previous leadership ably lead by former Mayor Cde Dikeledi has done much. We are happy we were able to identify the problems and have way forward on the legal fees, slow or non-spending on capital projects, poor monitoring of projects, shrinking income base and low revenue collection, insufficient or lack of human resource to serve the community beyond contractual obligation on behalf of this people based institution called a municipality.

GTM Bulletin: What changes are you as the mayor going to bring to Tzaneen

As part of the collective leadership deployed by the ANC, We have a mandate to further the development so far. Having identified the gaps in response to the last question, the manifesto and policy positions of the ANC and government will guide us.

Significantly, we seek to speed the following up: implementation of the By-laws, expanding our revenue base to our rural communities by providing quality services, updating our indigent register and doing the justifiable thing. Create more jobs for our people through the above thinking and make our villages as habitable as towns and townships. This will surely reduce urbanization. 

GTM Bulletin: What job creation efforts will you make as a mayor

Engagement with Limpopo Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET, Limpopo Economiic Development Agency(LEDA), our own arm, GTEDA to zoom into unlocking of Tours Tea farms, Nkowankowa closed factories, Makgoebaskloof or Sapekoe Tea Estate, Mopani Mosupatsela Farm and supporting initiatives to build shopping malls as immediate tasks to create jobs. Our major focus for the next five years over and above the many things we shall be doing includes insourcing of numerous municipal services that we can simply do internally. We will invite business to augment the efforts of the Mayor with 100 p c on student financial aid to skill our disadvantaged youths. We also will engage our local FETs or other tertiary institutions to align their out-put to the economic needs of the municipality. E.g being a highly agriculture area we produce no Agriculturalists. We must address Relevancy.


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The Greater Tzaneen Municipality would like to allay fears that there is a crisis in the municipality, it must therefore be stated categorically clear that the municipality is operating efficiently and effectively and continues to deliver services as per its constitutional and legislative mandate.  

The attachment and subsequent removal of the mayoral vehicle was a result of miscommunication between the municipality, the sheriff and municipality’s legal representative. The matter has since been resolved and all monies owed in connection with the warrant of execution were paid immediately as soon as the matter was brought to the attention of the municipality, however the actual cause of the said miscommunication is being investigated. The municipality is disappointed in the manner in which the Sherriff handled the removal of the mayoral vehicle, firstly by bringing along a journalist with a video camera and secondly by refusing to afford the municipality a mere15 minutes to effect the payment of monies owed as it was their primary demand. We have a strong view that the actions of the Sherriff were orchestrated to embarrass the municipality and its leadership. It is also strange that the Sherriff opted to attach the mayoral vehicle of whose value far surpasses the amount in question.

It is also worth noting that the amount of R111694.00 was paid at around 08h50 and the mayoral vehicle was returned within an hour of the payment being effected. The attachment of the mayoral vehicle is completely unrelated to the vehicle itself as the vehicle has already been paid for in full. Also worth noting is that the removal of the vehicle did not any way affect the schedule nor the programme of the mayor. The mayor is currently attending a week long induction with fellow councillors and was not using the vehicle at the time of the incident.

We would like to call on all the political parties and other observers to refrain from making statements about the municipality in the media without first verifying their facts. These false statements can only serve as a source of incitement and also spread uncertainty. We also call on all our residents to rally behind the municipality and its newly elected council. These false accusations are only meant to distract the municipality’s leadership from their responsibilities which is the provision of services to communities of Greater Tzaneen.

The Mayor and the collective leadership of the municipality is committed to serving the municipality and has the best interest of the residents of municipality which includes creating an atmosphere conducive for economic growth and job creation, enhancing the service delivery mechanism of the municipality and uniting the residents of the municipality towards a common goal which is to build a vibrant economy and the provision of sustainable basic services.

For Immediate release                                                                          


Issued by: Mr. Ntsako Neville Ndlala

Spokesperson & Acting Manager Communications and Marketing Services

Office Tel: 015 307 8019 – Fax No: 0867596454 Cell No: 073 076 2125

E-mail Address: neville.ndlala@tzaneen.gov.za

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The Greater Tzaneen Municipality will host its 3rd annual Agricultural Expo from the   22nd to the 24th of September 2016 at Letaba Showground. The Agri Expo was born out of the Land Reform and Forestry Summit which the municipality hosted in 2013. In 2014 GTM staged its inaugural Agricultural Expo which recorded 1000 attendees and 52 exhibitors over a three day period. The Agri-Expo was coordinated through an events management company in 2014 but in 2015 the municipality coordinated the Agri-Expo internally through an Events Coordinating/Management Committee. In the 2015 Expo the municipality recorded just over 1000 visitors.

In the 2015 Agric Expo the municipality hosted an Agri Youth Imbizo which saw 90 learners from 21 local schools and 32 young farmers from 22 agricultural projects participate. At least 150 people among them farmers, aspiring farmers and students attended various workshops as part of the expo in the same year. GTM also hosted a gala dinner attended by about 200 guests and a Mayoral networking breakfast. The Agri- Expo is a platform for stakeholders in the agricultural sector to interact, exchange ideas, transact and copy best practices in the sector. It is also a platform for upcoming farmers and established commercial farmers to interact and learn from each other. The Expo is also used as a marketing vehicle to promote Tzaneen as an agricultural hub in the province.

In this year’s three day event the Mayor, Councillor Maripe Mangena will host a charity Golf Day on the 23rd of September at Tzaneen Country Club from 8am, a networking breakfast on the 22nd of September at Hotel@Tzaneen from 8am and Gala dinner also on 22nd of September at Hotel@Tzaneen from 6pm. Also on the 22nd the municipality will host the Agri Youth Imbizo at Letaba Showground Hall B from 8am.  GTM will also host workshops on the 22nd and 23rd of September on Agro-processing, global warming, export markets, funding, insurances etc. On the 22nd of September the municipality will take 180 learners from various schools on a tour of ten (10) farms specialising in areas such as processing, livestock farming, crop production, citrus etc.

This year Expo is sponsored by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Komatie Fruits (Bosveld Sitrus). The Agric -Expo partners are Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), Greater Tzaneen Economic Development Agency (GTEDA) and the Letaba Herald. The Expo is supported by ZZ2, Department of Education, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), Agricultural Research Council (ARC), the Department of Agriculture Fishers and Forestry (DAFF), Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (LDARD), Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Mopani District Municipality (MDM) as well as universities and agricultural colleges.

For Immediate release                                                                          


Issued by: Mr. Ntsako Neville Ndlala

Spokesperson & Acting Manager Communications and Marketing Services

Office Tel: 015 307 8019 – Fax No: 0867596454 Cell No: 073 076 2125

E-mail Address: neville.ndlala@tzaneen.gov.za

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The purchase of a new vehicle for the Mayor was necessary for several reasons, first the previous mayor’s vehicle was bought in 2011 and has exceeded 150 000 kilometres and was no longer under motor plan. The vehicle was involved in two separate accidents albeit minor. The vehicle has also suffered numerous mechanical breakdowns costing the municipality in excess of R180 000 as some stage and in a very short period. There was also high cost of hiring a vehicle for the mayor during the periods where the vehicle was involved either in an accident or suffered mechanical breakdown.

We have invoices to back this. In actual fact the purchase of the new vehicle will save the municipality money and will be convenient for the mayor. The SALGA handbook allows for the replacement of the mayor’s official vehicle if it has exceeded 150000 km, the mileage on the previous vehicle stood at 173 000km.

We also have to purchase an SUV considering the terrain that we operate in, the mayor has to travel to mountainous rural areas to engage communities. He also needs a reliable vehicle for official trips outside the municipality. We have purchased a vehicle that is standard and is used by a majority of mayors, MECs etc. all over the country.

It is also misleading and demeaning for the DA to suggest that buying a vehicle for a mayor is wasteful and fruitless. The expenditure might be irregular, but it is far from wasteful or fruitless.  The purchase was done above board and through deviation which is legally permissible. The cost of the vehicle does not exceed the amount allowed for the purchase of vehicles for Mayors.

When it comes to the purchase of a vehicle for the speaker, as a municipality we are not aware of any recent purchase for the new speaker. We do however have a vehicle which we bought in 2014 to transport the speaker, that vehicle is still in a good condition and available for official use.

The mayor, as the first citizen must be transported in a safe reliable vehicle, his safety first as a human being and secondly as Mayor must be prioritised. The mayor will be required to meet people even during turmoil and violent service delivery protests, it is therefore important that he is provided with a reliable safe mode of transportation.

With regard to the attachment of assets of the municipality, it must be stated categorically clear that no asset of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality has been attached both movable and immovable assets. We have challenged the court order granted to Expetera and the matter is still before the courts. 


For Immediate release                                                                        


Issued by:      Neville Ndlala


                        015 307 8019

                        073 076 2125


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Mpumi Mhalanga amongst children at Glenshiel Primary on Mandela Day 2016

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The Greater Tzaneen Municipality has received numerous complaints from residents in relation to their monthly municipal bills. The bulk of the complaints are related to electricity charges and disconnection fees.

Residents are reminded that the deadline for payments is the 25th of each month, those who fail to meet the deadline will receive a reminder. Failure to act on the reminder will result in the defaulter receiving a “final request” notice, which is accompanied by a R45.00 fee plus VAT. Action will therefore be required from the accountholder within three days of receiving the “final request” notice. 

Failure to act within the stipulated timeframe will result in the delivery of a disconnection notice and subsequent disconnection. The disconnection notice is delivered at the same time that the actual disconnection is done. 

A disconnection fee of R365.00 plus VAT will be billed into the account of the property owner or account holder. The electricity will only be reconnected after payment is made.

We have appointed a service provider to do meter reading on behalf of the municipality and they have already started with their work. The readings are collected on a monthly basis and captured onto our financial systems.

For accuracy and as proof a photo of the meter at the time when the reading is recorded is taken and uploaded into the account.

The hike in electricity bills in most instances in a result of the heat wave which led to residents overusing their air conditioners. The air conditioner consumes more electricity more than most household utilities.

Residents who have queries or are not satisfied with their accounts are welcome to lodge their queries with our accounts section in the Finance Department.  Residents can visit the municipality and our officers at Credit Control will kindly explain the charges and rectify any errors thereof.

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