South Africa 19.9.2013 06:00 am

‘Bekkersdal will be ungovernable’

'MAYOR MUST GO'. Bekkersdal residents take to the streets during a service delivery protest yesterday. They demanded the local district mayor resign, accusing her of corruption. Picture: Refilwe Modise.

'MAYOR MUST GO'. Bekkersdal residents take to the streets during a service delivery protest yesterday. They demanded the local district mayor resign, accusing her of corruption. Picture: Refilwe Modise.

Angry residents of Bekkersdal in the west of Gauteng have vowed to make their area ungovernable until their demands for basic services are met.

They went on the rampage earlier this week demanding services like proper sanitation and houses. The situation become volatile at one stage when police fired rubber bullets at people who had barricaded roads with fires and rocks.

They accused Westonaria Local Municipality mayor Nonkoliso Tundzi of corruption and nepotism. Community leader Mbulelo Koyana said: “This mayor and her unqualified people have failed to address our grievances. “We have been waiting for a response from her since August … we are demanding that the mayor and her team resign with immediate effect.”

The mob demanded the police leave the area, chanting “we are not afraid to die”. “Our toilets are full and for us to get them drained, we are told we should pay R30 for basic services that we are rightfully entitled to,” one young boy said.

Just before 1pm yesterday, executive mayor of the West Rand District Municipality Mpho Nawa and mayor Tundzi arrived in the area with a police escort. “The local mayor said she has been working closely with the leadership in the community,” he said to an angry crowd which said she was lying.

Yawa said they would study the memorandum of demands. “We will single out issues that need to be dealt with urgently,” he said.

“Yes, we have challenges pertaining to service delivery, but we are doing our best despite the li-mited resources.” Commenting on the demands, Tundzi said it was difficult to respond timeously due to limited resources.

“The sewerage issue is the main challenge faced by residents here and we are working hard to address it. “We have budgeted for another machine that will address the problem.”

 

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