Community protests, demands electricity

2015-05-27 06:00

TWO weeks ago Hlamontethe (Ward 19) residents in Ndwedwe, handed over a memorandum of demands to municipal mayor Maxwell Hadebe.

At the top of the list of demands was the provision of electricity.

Hadebe was given seven days to respond, but according to a concerned community member, Vincent Phewa, who spoke to the Weekly on Tuesday - and said that he was appointed by community members to lead the protest - Hadebe has not responded.

The memorandum states that community members “resolved to embark on peaceful protest action” and hand over their written grievances since they had “been sent from pillar to post” by the mayor who is also accused of being untruthful.

According to the memorandum, Ward 19 residents are mainly complaining about not having electricity and that Hadebe has on numerous occasions made empty promises with regards to connecting their homes to the electricity grid.

Speaking to the Weekly, Hadebe­ said the municipality’s role is to co-ordinate the process of connecting homes to the grid.

“The municipality is not licenced­ to connect electricity.”

He said it is Eskom’s responsibility and that the municipality only sends a request to Eskom for connection.

In addition, residents demanded that the mayor give them an exact date when the project of connecting their homes to the grid will commence.

However, Hadebe said that since Eskom had not given the municipality an exact date and month when the project would commence he cannot tell the community when their houses will be connected to the grid.

The memorandum also claims that the mayor’s office is inaccessible, a claim which Hadebe dismissed, stating that although he prefers that people make an appointment to meet with him, he has never turned anyone away.

Hadebe said those who led the protest and who are at the forefront as representatives of the community are playing a political game.

“The mayor is messing with the community when he says that this is a political game.

“There is no political game being played. The community just wants what it wants.”

Phewa said that since the mayor failed to respond within the seven day deadline stipulated in the memorandum, the community is due to meet to discuss what they need to do to address the matter.

Memorandum states that community members resolved to embark on a peaceful protest action and hand over their written grievances since they had been sent from pillar to post by the mayor who, is also accused of being untruthful

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