National 25.7.2016 09:42 am

Heavy police presence in Meyerton

There is heavy police presence in Meyerton in the wake of a violent community protest. Picture: Steven Tau

There is heavy police presence in Meyerton in the wake of a violent community protest. Picture: Steven Tau

Mayor Bongani Baloyi says his life has been threatened but refuses to reveal when he will address residents.

Despite traffic flowing along the busy R59, there is still a huge police presence in Meyerton in the wake of violent community protests. Some local residents for the whole of last week barricaded roads with rocks, burning tyres and rubble, demanding improved service delivery in the Sicelo informal settlement.

A few weeks ago, a labour dispute between the Midvaal local municipality and the SA Municipal Workers (Samwu) resulted in municipal property being damaged. Since last week Sunday, local residents from Sicelo informal settlement have taken to the streets to protest over lack of service delivery.

A police nyala that was ferrying, among others, Gauteng’s Community Safety MEC Sizakele Malobane Nkosi, was petrol bombed by irate protesters, who have also been demanding that incumbent mayor Bongani Baloyi come and address them. Speaking to The Citizen on Sunday, Baloyi confirmed his life has been threatened but refused to reveal when and where he would go to address residents, adding he was taking all the necessary safety precautions.

The DA has since accused the ANC of orchestrating the violent protests in a bid to destabilise the municipality ahead of the local government elections, which are only nine days away. Meanwhile the SA Local Government Association (Salga) in Gauteng is expected to meet with Samwu and municipal officials on Monday morning.

Some police officers who have been deployed to the area say the situation remains tense.

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