Home News City road remains closed, protesters ‘have no faith’ in community engagements

City road remains closed, protesters ‘have no faith’ in community engagements

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Protesters’ motives questioned after the United Community of Sol Plaatje Municipality started engaging with local government earlier this week.

Tyson Road remained closed on Wednesday.

PROTESTERS kept Tyson Road near Scandal informal settlement closed on Wednesday even though Sol Plaatje Municipality employees were “on the ground” to address some of the community’s service delivery demands.

Residents are set to hold a community meeting at 6pm, where it will be decided whether to allow the road to be opened to traffic.

Following protest action earlier this month, the residents of ward 33 returned to the streets on Tuesday morning after accusing the municipality of turning a blind eye to their service delivery challenges.

They barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres and only emergency vehicles, health workers and the police were allowed access.

The acting municipal manager, Boy Dhluwayo, had on Tuesday arrived in Scandal with a team to start installing communal taps, while municipal trucks started clearing the dumps.

The community had given the municipality until May 8 to address the issue of the blocked water canal.

The protesters on Wednesday confirmed that they do not form part of the United Community of Sol Plaatje Municipality (UCSPM) community organisation, which has been engaging with Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul and Sol Plaatje executive mayor Patrick Mabilo and their delegations since Monday.

The protesters’ motives had been questioned on Tuesday, with some asking why they were protesting and blockading roads when the UCSPM was in dialogue with local government representatives.

Scandal community representative Lawrence Mkhwanazi on Wednesday explained that they do not have any faith in those engagements.

“Those people will come to our ward and collect information, claiming to be representing us, but will not raise our concerns … We don’t want to be part of what happened in 2018, where we were used to empower certain individuals who had personal agendas,” said Mkhwanazi.

He also rubbished claims that their protest is politically motivated. “This is a genuine call for service delivery. It is not politically influenced.”

Mkhwanazi meanwhile warned “scamsters” and “opportunists” that they were working with the police to identify the people who have stationed themselves at several road closures and demanded money from motorists to allow them to pass.