CAPE TOWN Sunny. Mild.

MIN14
MAX22
7 day
  • Sunday 14-21°c Mostly sunny. Cool. Mostly sunny. Cool.
    Monday 15-26°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Tuesday 16-22°c Sunny. Cool. Sunny. Cool.
    Wednesday 15-21°c Morning clouds. Cool. Morning clouds. Cool.
    Thursday 14-20°c High level clouds. Cool. High level clouds. Cool.
    Friday 16-18°c Light rain. More clouds than sun. Cool. Light rain. More clouds than sun. Cool.
More News

Protests linked to elections - MEC

2014-02-07 21:28
(Shutterstock)

Johannesburg - Human settlements MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said on Friday that the violent protests in Gauteng could be linked to the upcoming national elections.

"We are concerned that this violence is tantamount to intimidation in the season of elections," she said.

"We also have no doubt in our minds that this sudden upsurge in violent protests is linked to the upcoming elections."

She said the burning of buildings such as libraries and clinics was extremely irresponsible.

Mekgwe said the only winners in cases of attacks on councillors and the destruction of property were "criminals, vandals and individuals or organisations" using the acts for political gain.

She was briefing the media in Johannesburg on recent protests in the province.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday that the fifth general elections would take place on 7 May.

Damaged

The Gauteng provincial government was concerned about the rise in service delivery protests in the province. It condemned the violence and the destruction of property but recognised people's right to protest.

"Our rapid response team and the department have recorded about 50 service delivery protests in Gauteng since last year," said Mekgwe.

"In terms of cost for the damage... for the department alone, it's about R55m."

She said the figure could be higher for the municipalities where infrastructure was damaged. Mekgwe said the solution to problems residents faced was confronting them and constant engagement.

"There are a number of avenues which are available to members of the community to raise their concerns."

She urged residents to be responsible and to not stop children from going to school or sick people from gaining access to medicine or hospitals.

Damage control

In the past week, residents of Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, vowed never to vote for the African National Congress again, saying the ANC-led government had failed them.

Protesters barricaded roads and promised to continue protests until government acceded to their demands. In Boiketlong, Sebokeng, residents insisted they be addressed by Zuma, not Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

In Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria, government officials tried to do damage control on Thursday after residents this week torched several buildings including a clinic, hall, and library.

Mekgwe described the death of three people in the province -- in Roodepoort, Bekkersdal and Boiketlong -- as too many.

"This loss was unnecessary and could have been avoided," she said.

In January, two City of Johannesburg employees were arrested for illegally selling RDP houses, she said. She urged residents to come forward and tell the department if they had been victims.

It's your last chance to register for Elections 2014. Download News24's free Elections App to check if you are registered, on Android or iOS.

- SAPA
Read more on: iec  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014  |  politics  |  service delivery protests

More In This Category
IEC announces by-election date

The IEC has announced a date for municipal ward by-elections.

ANC Limpopo urges party to rebuild, dismisses early conference talk

The ANC in Limpopo has vowed to reform itself and has urged branches to focus on rebuilding instead of holding an early special conference or consultative conference.

3 more arrests for slain DA councillor, partner

Three more people have appeared in court in connection with the murders of DA councillor Johannes Baatjies and his business partner, the Northern Cape Hawks have said.

ANC 'colluding' MEC in hung councils hits back at IFP

KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has hit back at the Inkatha Freedom Party which has accused her of working with the ANC to stall processes in hung municipalities.

Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
47 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
News24 |   OLX  |  PROPERTY24  |  CAREERS24  |  SPREE  |