Calm returns to Sobantu after fiery protest

2015-07-22 09:06
Sobantu residents barricade the road with burning tyres during a service delivery protest yesterday.

Sobantu residents barricade the road with burning tyres during a service delivery protest yesterday. (Ian Carbutt)

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NORMALITY returned to Sobantu township yesterday following a fiery protest over expensive electricity on Monday.

The calm might be temporary though as the residents plan to take more action later this week.

“It’s quiet today. There is nothing happening; maybe something will happen on Thursday [tomorrow],” said a source in the area.

The residents blocked the only road in and out of the township with burning tyres yesterday morning protesting the cost of the pre-paid electricity system that was launched in March last year.

They said the system had made electricity unaffordable.

Many of them were allegedly in arrears with their account prior to the system being implemented and the municipality imposed a charge of 40% on all electricity vouchers purchased as a way of recouping their arrears.

The source said they are planning a march to the city hall.

“There will be a meeting today where we will map the way forward. We are planning a march possibly on Thursday because we do not want to wait for the seven days for the municipality to respond to our list of grievances, as they might not address our concerns.”

Commenting on the protest, Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela at the media launch of the state of the City address yesterday said: “We have met with the Sobantu residents today [yesterday] and have arranged a follow-up meeting early next week. We haven’t solved everything but I can see there will be a good outcome in the end.”

Meanwhile, calm returned to Bruntville at Mooi River after residents there blocked the Greytown Road on Monday during another electricity protest.

The residents in Ward 1 were angry that the municipality had allegedly removed illegal connections and that many of those employed to read meters do not come from Ward 1

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protest

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