Protesters in Driefontein block roads

2016-04-20 06:00

A SERVICE delivery protest erupted in Driefontein on Monday with protesters blocking roads.

Umhlali SAPS spokesperson Vinny Pillay said the area was inaccessible on Monday morning.

On Monday, KZN SAPS spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said: “More than 100 people blockaded the road complaining about service delivery. Police are at the scene monitoring the situation. No arrests have been made.”

Speaking to the Weekly on Monday afternoon, Driefontein ward councillor Vuma Mdluli said he had not received a memorandum of complaints from the community.

With regards to reports in which protesters were demanding he vacate his position since he had failed to deliver services in the area, Mdluli said voters would decide during elections if he should continue as councillor should he be nominated as a candidate to contest the elections.

He said the community could have called a meeting where service delivery issues would have been addressed accordingly.
He also said according to his knowledge housing is the only issue which still needs to be dealt with.

Mdluli added he does not believe that the protest is related to service delivery.

He believes that there is a group of people behind the protest action who are intent on having an individual of their choice stand for elections.

He said this group disrupted a public meeting in the area several weeks ago where the ANC’s four candidate nominee to contest in the elections were to be introduced to the community.

“The individual favoured by this group is not a member of the ANC,” claimed Mdluli.

He also claimed the group also took part in the protest in Shakashead where a councillor’s house and vehicle were set alight, although the group are not residents of that area.

Mdluli said members of this group were once part of the ANC but left the organisation in 2011 when they failed to “emerge” ahead of the local government elections of that year.

He said the group is disrupting the ANC’s nomination process and that the party has not named a candidate to contest elections for the ward.

According to Mdluli the protesters claimed to have sent a letter to the ANC Greater KwaDukuza Region regarding their grievances, adding that he has no knowledge of such a letter.

ANC Greater KwaDukuza Region spokesperson Lucky Makhathini said he visited the area during the recent voter registration weekend.
He said he met with the party’s provincial executive member Mxolisi Kaunda at one of the registration venues who informed him that he (Kaunda) had conversed with and noted grievances raised by members of the local branch and that these would be reported back to the Regional Executive Committee (REC).

Makhathini said he then suggested to the members that they inform others that a meeting between the branch and the REC will possibly be convened before Friday, 22 April, to address the issues raised. He said he believes it is possible that protesters were not aware that the REC would be meeting with the branch to address issues.

Makhathini said the region deployed someone to the area on Monday who would report back to the REC.

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