Protests flare up again in NC town

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF RE­PORTER

PROTESTS were ig­nited again in Barkly West last night fol­low­ing a meet­ing that was held yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, while the com­mu­nity con­tin­ues to wait for an­swers from the au­thor­i­ties re­lat­ing to on­go­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery com­plaints.

The cross­ing be­tween Matal­eng and De Beer­shoogte, which was closed to traf­fic last week with rocks and burn­ing tyres, was again bar­ri­caded last night in a re­newed shut­down.

In­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor Ment­ley Bezuiden­hout said that com­mu­nity mem­bers, who are now call­ing for the re­moval of the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer and the mayor at Dik­gat­long Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, had not been ad­dressed by the MEC for Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance, Hu­man Set­tle­ments and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs or the premier, in ac­cor­dance with their list of de­mands.

He added that they were also ques­tion­ing a R1.2 mil­lion ten­der that was ap­proved for the val­u­a­tion of prop­erty while only R350 000 was al­lo­cated in the bud­get for the year.

“The mu­nic­i­pal­ity is hir­ing a pa­per fold­ing ma­chine at a cost of R45 000 per month while nine peo­ple are be­ing paid a stipend of R1 500 each month to man­u­ally fold the pa­pers.”

Bezuiden­hout in­di­cated that the mu­nic­i­pal premises were left un­guarded for three days last week due to ap­par­ent non-pay­ment to the security com­pany.

“We want a Sec­tion 106 in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be con­ducted at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

The Dik­gat­long Mu­nic­i­pal­ity did not re­spond to me­dia en­quiries.

A protest took place near the Nkandla in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Hartswa­ter over the week­end, where the build­ing at the en­trance of the weigh­bridge and a bulldozer at the dump­ing site were set alight on Satur­day.

Roads were also ob­structed with rocks and burn­ing tyres.

Protest action started on Fri­day af­ter­noon af­ter it was be­lieved that R3.2 mil­lion that was sup­posed to be al­lo­cated by Phok­wane Mu­nic­i­pal­ity for the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of Nkandla was di­verted else­where.

Po­lice spokesper­son, Cap­tain Ole­bo­geng Tawana, said that the Hartswa­ter po­lice, in­clud­ing the Pub­lic Or­der Po­lice unit, were mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Hartswa­ter fol­low­ing com­mu­nity mem­bers’ protest action.

“No one has been ar­rested at this stage. We are busy clear­ing de­bris and burn­ing tyres that com­mu­nity mem­bers used to bar­ri­cade the road from the town­ship lead­ing into the Hartswa­ter CBD,” said Tawana. The Phok­wane Mu­nic­i­pal­ity did not re­spond to me­dia en­quiries.

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