Bekkersdal threatens election stayaway

FILE PIC. Picture Nigel Sibanda

FILE PIC. Picture Nigel Sibanda

Disgruntled Bekkersdal residents have made it clear they will not vote in the upcoming general elections unless the ANC, led by President Jacob Zuma, suspends the Westonaria local municipality.

With the Independent Electoral Commission’s last registration drive for people to vote coming up this weekend, Thabang Wesi, spokesperson for the Greater Westonaria Concerned Residents’ Association on the West Rand, said locals reiterated during a public meeting held late on Monday they will not bother to register to vote.

“Residents say voting will just be a waste of time as the very same ANC that has failed to fulfil its promises will continue to rule,” said Wesi.

He asked if the ANC were able to take stern action against some officials from the Madibeng municipality near Brits in the North West last month, why couldn’t the same be done with the mayor of Westonaria, Nonkoliso Tundzi, and other officials.

Residents have accused Tundzi and senior officials of nepotism and maladministration.

The ANC recalled Madibeng mayor Poppy Magongwa, along with the council speaker Buti Makhongela and chief whip Solly Malete, following the water shortage crisis.

Wesi said there was also a likelihood residents would again take to the streets before the end of this week.

The area was rocked by violents protests for over a month last year, demanding the municipality be placed under administration.

Government property was damaged during the protests.

Recently, residents embarked on a programme they dubbed “reclaiming what belongs to us”. They invaded hectares of nearby land owned by mining company Rand Uranium.

Despite a court interdict granted to both the local municipality and Rand Uranium restricting locals from occupying land illegally, residents have continued registering themselves for stands.

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