Business owners, mayor meet over protests

2014-02-07 12:05
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Protest in Bronkhorstspruit

Residents in Bronkhorstspruit have been protesting over poor public service delivery.

Johannesburg - Local business owners in Bronkhorstspruit have met Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa over ongoing protests in the area, the city said on Friday.

"They raised concerns about workers' safety and that of their businesses, and the loss in profit as a result of the protests," Tshwane metro spokesperson Blessing Manale said.

The business organisations included the local chamber of business and the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Ramokgopa assured the business owners that police would increase patrols and ensure that workers were safe going to and from work, Manale said.

Protests erupted in the townships of Zithobeni, Rethabiseng, and Ekangala near Bronkhorstspruit over the high price of electricity.

Police said several buildings had been set alight since last Thursday, including a clinic, a library and a hall.

A total of seven buildings were set alight during protests in the area. Two people were arrested in Rethabiseng on Wednesday for public violence and illegal public gathering.

The Democratic Alliance said the protests were a cause for concern.

"Firstly, the reasons for these protests must be a wake-up call to the Tshwane metro because people at grassroots level are disillusioned by the poor performance of the ANC-led metro," said Tshwane DA caucus leader Gert Pretorius.

"The negative effect of these protest actions on business can also not be ignored. This lawlessness is costing the business community millions of rands."

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