Protesters close roads

They say they want their mu­nic­i­pal­ity to im­prove san­i­ta­tion, pro­vide wa­ter and elec­tric­ity

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - NORTHERN CAPE NEWS - TI­ISETSO MANOKO ti­iset­som@the­newage.co.za

RES­I­DENTS of Rood­e­pan and Jack­sonville in­for­mal set­tle­ments near Kim­ber­ley yes­ter­day bar­ri­caded roads in protest A lack of ser­vice de­liv­ery in the area.

They said they want their mu­nic­i­pal­ity to im­prove san­i­ta­tion, pro­vide wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and stop the loom­ing evic­tions.

The roads be­tween Rood­e­pan and Kim­ber­ley were closed from morn­ing un­til mid­day when the po­lice moved burnt tyres and trees from the road.

Burn­ing tyres and trees were used to close down the area as the com­mu­nity mem­bers called on Sol Plaatje mayor Man­gal­iso Matika to come and ad­dress them.

Po­lice in Kim­ber­ley yes­ter­day had to clear the road lead­ing to Rood­e­pan fol­low­ing protests over ser­vice de­liv­ery there. Com­mu­nity leader Samuel Papier said they will con­tinue to bring Kim­ber­ley CBD to a stand­still un­til their de­mands were met.

He said they did not want Matika to send any­one to them but rather come him­self and give them an­swers.

“We have been told that the mayor will not be com­ing to ad­dress us, our main com­plaint is ser­vice de­liv­ery, for three years we have been with­out wa­ter, our com­plains have fallen on deaf ears.

“We are go­ing to con­tinue to close the road un­til the mayor comes and ad­dress es us, we need ser­vices in our ar­eas,” he said.

Papier said they did not want to dis­turb school­ing and traf­fic but were forced to do so be­cause of the non­re­spon­sive­ness of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“We want the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to ad­dress our sit­u­a­tions need. We are peo­ple even though we are stay­ing in in­for­mal set­tle­ments,” he said.

One an­gry res­i­dent said the at­ti­tude they were get­ting from the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties was un­called for.

“We are dis­ap­pointed at the man­ner in which the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is treat­ing us, they do not care about us. If they can­not ser­vice us they must just tell us so that we can see for our­selves how we go in. They call them­selves our lead­ers but they are not even show­ing up.

“We want them to come and re­move the bucket sys­tem which is mak­ing our lives dif­fi­cult, we have young chil­dren who will end up get­ting sick with the buck­ets that are not be­ing taken,” she said.

Mean­while the po­lice had to use rub­ber bul­lets to dis­perse the crowd who were clos­ing off the R31 and Seleke roads link­ing Kim­ber­ley, Rood­e­pan and Galeshewe.

Po­lice spokesper­son Maj­Gen Di­makatso Mooi said the po­lice were called on to the scene fol­low­ing road clo­sures by com­mu­nity mem­bers since the early hours of the morn­ing.

“We are here to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and en­sure that the roads are opened for traf­fic to flow. The roads are closed ap­par­ently be­cause of the is­sues in their in­for­mal set­tle­ment,” she said.

Mooi said the po­lice were go­ing to re­main on the scene un­til the sit­u­a­tion has calmed down to en­sure that ev­ery­thing was back to nor­mal­ity.

Heavy a po­lice pres­ence from Galeshewe, Rood­e­pan and Kim­ber­ley was pa­trolling the ar­eas and call­ing on com­mu­nity mem­bers to re­frain from putting stones on the road.

Ef­forts to get com­ment from the mu­nic­i­pal­ity were un­suc­cess­ful by the time of go­ing to press.

PIC­TURE: SABCNEWS

DRAS­TIC AC­TION: Rood­e­pan and Jack­sonville in­for­mal set­tle­ment res­i­dents yes­ter­day bar­ri­caded roads in protest of lack of ser­vice de­liv­ery in the area.

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