Bekkersdal protests action ‘far from over’

PROBLEM SOLVING. Agang SA leader Mamphele Ramphele speaks to members of the community at Irvin's Park at Bekkersdal yesterday on service delivery issues. Picture: Nigel Sibanda.

Protest action in the troubled township of Bekkersdal is far from over.

Speaking to The Citizen following Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele’s visit to the area yesterday, community leader Khe-thani Boniswa said a march to the Westonaria local municipality, which will include all Greater Westonaria communities, has been planned for next week Tuesday.

“With the march, we, as community members, intend to go and remove the Westonaria local municipality mayor, Nonkoliso Tundzi, and all her surbodinates from office because we still want the municipality to be placed under administration. The protest action will end only when we, as residents, get what we want.”

Ramphele’s visit followed violent protests which rocked the area during the months of October and November.

In her address, Ramphele told residents that their votes have purpose.

“The power you have lies in your hands and therefore use your vote in the most sensible way. We must change the manner in which leaders are chosen… for instance, a leader from Bekkersdal must be from Bekkersdal, a leader from Diepsloot must be from Diepsloot,” Ramphele said to a resounding applause from the crowd, which had gathered at a local park.

She said the reason why South Africa’s economy is not functioning is due to lack of skills development. “South Africa has money, but the money is not going where it is supposed to be, because we we do not have leaders who think ahead.”

Ramphele engaged residents during a question and answer session. One of the questions posed to Ramphele, was if she benefited from the trust fund that was meant for the community during her tenure as Goldfields chairman of the board. “The trust funds are there from all mines, but the community trusts do not involve the communities, because most of the money is from government. I will ask them at Goldfields what happened and I will give you feedback,” she said.

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