SAB truck set alight in water protest

300 locals barricaded the N14 road outside Olifantshoek with rocks and tyres on Tuesday, and looted and torched the truck yesterday.

A South African Breweries truck was looted and set alight in Olifantshoek in the Northern Cape on Tuesday by people protesting against lack of water delivery.

They claimed they had not received any water from the Gamagara Local Municipality.

About 300 locals took part in the protest, barricading the N14 road with rocks and tyres on Tuesday and looting and torching the truck yesterday.

Police spokesperson Sergio Kock said: “Police were summoned to the scene and while police were at the N14, another group of protestors set a truck alight after looting the beer in it.

“The truck driver escaped with no injuries and police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property.”

The Gamagara Local Municipality has not responded to queries about the alleged lack of water.

Olifantshoek is among three places in central South Africa where protests were reported this week. There were also violent protests in Bloemfontein’s Phase 6 and Freedom Square settlements yesterday.

Free State police spokesperson Sinah Mpakane said 10 people were arrested for public violence in Phase 6.

University of the Free State political analyst Dr Sethulego Matebesi said that with the general elections coming up, protests were likely to increase.

Municipal IQ, a municipal data and intelligence company, said last month service delivery protests peaked last year, with 24% more than in 2014, which was the last election year.

A total of 237 service delivery protests were recorded by Municipal IQ last year, with most in the Eastern Cape, followed by Western Cape and Gauteng. The Free State led in central South Africa with 10% of the overall figure.

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