Desireé van der Walt with her team of workers who embarked on cleaning up the entrance of the Dr Annecke Malaria Institute in Tzaneen. The workers are Simon Mazibi and Milton Nonghovela. Terrence Malatji was absent at the time the photo was taken. Photos: Roelof de Jonge

Residents of many small towns like Tzaneen see it as a crying shame that municipalities and government establishments, especially those with historical significance, are down-right neglected through incompetent management. One such institution is the Dr Annecke Malaria Institute in Tzaneen.

Desireé van der Walt and her team of workers who cleaned up the entrance of the Dr Annecke Malaria Institute in Tzaneen.

Desireé van der Walt, an established resident of this town and a member of Parliament for the Democratic Alliance (DA), decided to take it upon herself, in her private capacity, to do something about the sad state of affairs at this vital institute.

The Dr Annecke Malaria Institute in Tzaneen as it looks today.

On Tuesday the 13th of April, van der Walt gathered a team of workers and set their sights on the main entrance of the institute where they started clearing the weeds and overgrown grass around the Modjadji trees. Because it is government property, no clean-up or maintenance work can be done (ironically) on or to the premises without authorization from the very same department which is supposed to preserve this significant establishment.

“I live in the vicinity of this institute, and it is a shame that such a valuable institution is so neglected. There are hardly any trash cans around for litter, and the walls, fences and paving are dirty and overgrown”, van der Walt said during the clean-up stint.

“The Tzaneen Municipality seems to have no knowledge of the importance of this institute and it appears to care less about what happens to this town’s assets and economy. It is time to ask Parliament questions on matters such as these.”

Desireé van der Walt with her team of workers who embarked on cleaning up the entrance of the Dr Annecke Malaria Institute in Tzaneen.

Van der Walt also expressed her sincere gratitude for her team of co-workers, Simon Mazibi, Milton Nonghovela and Terrence Malatji, who all helped her to clean up the trees at the entrance to resemble a semblance of its past glory. If van der Walt gets her wish, a complete cleanup of the premises is on the cards.

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