POLOKWANE – Many parts of the Limpopo province are still without winter despite being halfway through the season. The DA is calling for an enquiry to establish the cause of the unequal distribution of colder temperatures. “People are left out in the cold when it comes to service delivery,” says party spokesman Langa Bodlani. “They are also ignored when it comes to seasonal changes.”
While some places occasionally record mid-day temperatures as low as 16 degrees Celsius, most places are stuck in the twenties. “It’s really frustrating,” shrugs Mokopane resident Paul Neethling. “I can’t decide if I should wear a jacket or not.”
The unavailability of winter affects many communities. Parents invested in thick jerseys for their families. The children wear it to school, but by 10 o’clock they take it off. “This is unacceptable, barks Thandi Marope while lounging in the shade of a rugged knob thorn tree. “We spent all this money for nothing. How can they teach our children about seasons if there is no winter?”
The high levels of warmth in the province are detrimental to trade and industry. “I do pretty good sales during the warmer months when people buy wood for braaivleis fires,” claims Lephalale wood merchant Sipho Molefe. “But it’s when the colder months come around that business really hot up. Someone must be held accountable for all this warmth.”
Residents of Phalaborwa are particularly hot and bothered. Winter temperatures failed to reach them for several years. Some even started referring to Phalaborwa as “The town with two summers”. “The thermometer rarely drops below 25 degrees,” moans Anna Somers. “Something must be done. I can’t take the heat even though I already got out of the kitchen.”
Some residents are angry that changes are all theoretical and that real change is not visible on the ground. “This town is now called Bela Bela,” remarks Precious Mandise. “It’s not Warmbaths anymore. Where is our winter? They’ve changed the name, but I still can’t wear a scarf.”
Every year meteorologists meticulously plan for a winter, but when the season comes around execution fails to live up to the promise. “There comes a time when you need to stop planning and actually do something,” asserts Bodlani.
Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale resigned from the hot seat in line with the ANC’s decision to disband the party’s provincial executive committee. “There is no doubt that Mathale had to get the cold shoulder,” says Cope’s Limpopo spokesman Motlatjo Thetjeng. “We can’t have children going to school without the appropriate seasonal weather conditions. Road workers can’t fix potholes if all they have is unbearable heat. In short, the already bankrupt province’s economy can’t afford an endless summer.”
The ANC’s Khusela Sangoni-Khawe says the party hopes that new premier Stanley Mathabatha will be able to make a difference. “We have confidence that he will restore the seasonal integrity of the province of Limpopo and we expect him to deal with the challenges of thermal deficiency and meteorological malpractice.”
Limpopo residents are anxious to see if Premier Mathabatha will deliver. “The heat is on Mathabatha now. Let’s see if he can cool the province down.” BN
Radebe understands that you really need to look politics from all sides, weigh up all options and come to terms with what politics is before you can write about politics. This takes time and resources, and he never makes a deadline. Still, his ill-conceived articles are better than it would have been if he rushed it to meet demands. Even if we can never print it, because it’s too late.
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