Police are on high alert in Mabopane, Winterveldt and Ga-Rankuwa‚ where residents embarked on a service delivery protest on Tuesday morning, reports Rekord North.
Residents from the three so-called Mawiga townships, led by Baagi community forum, blockaded roads with rocks and burning tyres, accusing the Tshwane mayor of not taking them seriously.
Police spokesperson Captain Matthews Nkoadi confirmed that several major roads in the township had been affected.
“People were prevented from going to school and to work in the morning‚” said Nkoadi. “So far there hasn’t been any reports of violence.”
He said police, however, had managed to disperse the protesters and cleared up some of the roads.
Baagi community forum said the protest action was “the beginning of a massive shut down planned for the next three days”.
“Msimanga is undermining us,” said Daddy Mohlokoane, a committee member of the forum. “He is not taking us seriously. We have marched to his offices and handed over a memorandum to his office. He knows what our problem is.”
Mohlokoane said the protest followed several attempts to get the metro to attend to their issues, but in vain.
“We are unhappy about the metro’s decision to absorb the Sandspruit Works Association (SWA) and take over its water service delivery functions as a going concern.”
The SWA used to provide water, sanitation and related services to areas such as Mabopane, Winterveldt and Ga-Rankuwa.
Recently the Tshwane metro announced it would write off debts totalling millions of rands for the residents.
“The mayor said he has reduced debt for the residents, but the debt keeps on increasing,” said Mohlokoane.“There is a lot of corruption in the system.”
He said the residents were unhappy about a number of issues including sewage spillage in the streets.
“There are no meter readers who come to our households, but we receive bills. We want to know what informs those bills.
“[The metro] also adopted a budget that does not cater for the interests of the poor as stipulated under the IDP.”
He said the administration was refusing to establish ward committees or non-partisan structures through which residents could interact with the council.
He said the residents were demanding for the metro to start a new public consultation process.
“They must appoint an interim board that must include residents of Mabopane, Winterveldt and Ga-Rankuwa,” he said.