Angry and frustrated protesters have made one heck of a statement by hacking out bits of the R33 road on Tuesday morning 22 September. Dissatisfied with service delivery, the protesters were out to prove a point.
According to uMzinyathi District Municipality Head of Communications Nomonde Nzimakwe, this is not the first time protesters have taken to the streets in utter anguish.
FRUSTRATED PROTESTERS HACK AWAY AT R33 ROAD
Nzimakwe confirmed the incident saying that a group of people, on Tuesday morning, were involved in the destruction of the R33 road.
“This follows a protest march that happened last week on 15 September.”
SAPS Colonel Thembeka Mbele also confirmed Tuesday’s protest.
“Road blockage R33 road between Dundee and Greytown. Blockages are on two different places, one in Helpmekaar area next to uitval turnoff and the other one is at Keats Drift next to [the] Mawozeni area,” said Mbele.
“In Helpmekaar community are complaining about water and electricity in [the] Ndanyane area. The one in Keats Drift community are complaining about water. Both places tyres and stones are used to blockade the road. At Helpmekaar they have dug some trenches on the road making it impossible for the vehicles to go through,” added Mbele.
No damage to any property has been reported so far.
Nzimakwe said the uMzinyathi District Municipality, as well as, the Msinga Local Municipality received a memorandum that day with various concerns mainly pointing to a lack of water.
“[There] have been two engagements with various government departments and the municipalities to discuss the matters outlined in the memorandum and a meeting with the community has been set for 29 September to give feedback on the issues raised,” said Nzimakwe.
According to TimesLive, hundreds of protesters from the community took to the streets, burning tyres and blockading parts of the R33 with stones on 15 September. A week later on Tuesday 22 September, a similar occurrence has taken place out of pure frustration.
WAS THE MSINGA MAYOR BLOCKED BY COMMUNITY MEMBERS?
According to Northern Natal News, Msinga Mayor BP Ngcobo “narrowly escaped” the community on Monday when members allegedly tried to block her in during a meeting.
Msinga Municipal Manager Senzo Sokhela, however, described a different occurrence. Sokhela said that while community members are frustrated over a lack of water and electricity, the main topic of discussion at Monday’s meeting was that of electricity.
Sokhela said community members approached the municipality with their concerns. The municipality then found out Eskom was responsible for the community’s issues as they began a project and did not finish it due to the lockdown.
Sokhela said the municipality then addressed the community who had held protests last week to firstly ask them if they could wait two months so that Eskom could come back to them with a progress report. The second was to tell them that the situation was unfortunately out of their hands.
As one can imagine, community members were not happy, hence more protests took place on the R33 road on Tuesday morning. When asked if the Mayor was threatened in any way, Sokhela said no. He said nothing was done to the mayor during the meeting.
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