Thu, 05 Aug 2021

  • Residents from five informal settlements in Ward 41 protested at the weekend, demanding electricity among other services.
  • A ward councillor's car was torched and a bread truck looted.
  • The protest started after the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality began installing poles at Bayland informal settlement. The City says the poles are for lights not electrification.
  • Municipal officials have said that there is no budget available to electrify all the informal settlements.

About 500 people from five informal settlements in Ward 41 blocked the R75 Uitenhage Road with burning tyres and rocks at the weekend, demanding electricity among other services.

The protest by residents of Nkandla, New Rest, Mhlolokotshana, Area 10, and Farmer informal settlements erupted when the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality started installing electrical poles at Bayland informal settlement. But the City says the poles are just for lighting.

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"In July 2020 we lost our shacks when we clashed with Nkandla RDP homeowners over illegal connections. The municipality also removed our illegal connections while some people were shot and injured in that violent fight," he said.

Thamie Zigoxo, chairperson of Area 10, told municipal officials who came to quell tensions: "How many times have we been engaging with you in these fruitless meetings? Since I became a community leader in 2019 I have been in and out of the municipal offices. What are you doing with our petitions?"

He said:

Many people here survive on child support grants and pension. Paraffin is expensive. The open fires, candles and illegal electricity connections are dangerous.

Source: News24

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