News24

Soweto councillor's house set alight

2011-07-05 20:27

Johannesburg - A councillor's house was set alight during protests by about 300 Soweto residents on Tuesday, Gauteng police said.

Spokesperson Mpho Kgaswana said residents of Chiawelo also barricaded parts of Chris Hani Road (previously Old Potchefstroom Road) with stones.

"They are alleging that they are paying higher electricity bills in their area. They said their rates are not the same as other areas," Kgaswana said.

"We don't know what they used to set the house alight. The fire has since been extinguished."

She said the garage attached to the house was partially burnt.

The situation was being monitored by police. No arrests were made, no one was injured, and a case of arson and malicious damage to property would be investigated, Kgaswana said.

The City of Johannesburg said going on the rampage, damaging property and endangering lives would not be tolerated.

It had previously told residents about plans to install prepaid electricity meters, spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said in a statement.

"The city does encourage open consultation with the residents when implementing capital projects and residents are urged to utilise this process to raise their concerns."

Comments
  • TamaraSays - 2011-07-05 21:04

    Actually, according to the news, with the old bill system, only a quarter of Soweto residents paid their bills. They're really protesting against the prepaid meter system, which makes non payment impossible. In this case, as much as I hate to say it, the councillor and the municipality are right. People need to pay for services, if they want to use them.

      Worldwise - 2011-07-05 21:32

      The prepaid meter system has been in use in the Western Cape for about 15 years. Has Soweto only woken up now?

      msendi - 2011-07-06 08:09

      @Worldwise…And in Pietermaritzburg as well!!!

      Smindlo - 2011-07-06 08:10

      @WW, it smore like, has Soweto only started paying for electricity now? and the answer to that would be YES!!!!! more than half the people in that area dont pay for services, yet the expect to see things working...and what is even more annoying is the ANC needs half the Soweto votes to win Joburg in local elections.

      Kevin - 2011-07-06 08:15

      They are not happy with the PRE in the prepaid system. They are upset because you have to pay up front and now realize how much electricity they were stealing with illegal connections. Identify the rubbish thugs and cops who allowed the councilors houses and cars to be burnt and use the full force of the law to punish them. PLEASE ROLL OUT PREPAID METERS TO THE WHOLE OF SOUTH AFRICA and step up the disconnecting of illegal connections before all municipalities are bankrupt. I do not believe that Eskom requires all the money for new power stations. I think at least 40% of our money is going to subsidize the non payers who now get free electricity, free schooling and medical,subsidized taxi tolling ,cheap rates and a promise by the government of free refuse removal. These guys are only have to buy food and alcohol and matches to burn and destroy anything good.

  • ilollipop - 2011-07-05 21:13

    Only in South Africa do you go and burn down the councillor's house when you don't like what you're paying for electricity.

  • Worldwise - 2011-07-05 21:33

    Do I see a Tunisia on the horizon?

      Smindlo - 2011-07-06 08:14

      I am afraid yes...they fighting against the wrong people though!! councillors dont have executive power. the people they should be protesting againt is the managers and the mayor. but we know thats not possible as the mayor lives somewhere in Brayanston where things work. he will never live with the people who voted him

  • BREAK4FREE - 2011-07-05 22:09

    After all the city of JHB should be responsible for such practices. For quite sme time their billing system has not been in order. The worst part is that you still have to pay the thousands before you can challenge it. So such strains affect the community at large and since the City Power cannot be reached the poor man at their reach, a man who does not even understand how the billing system is runned became the casualty of one's mistake. Whether Soweto residents are at fault or not but the blame shall be fowarded to the Citypower and their billing partners and this regard sorry is not enough.

      Smindlo - 2011-07-06 08:21

      ever heard of the word RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!! you are responsible for keeping the lights on in your house through payments!!!!!!!!!

  • ProudofPink - 2011-07-05 23:13

    I see the moderator doesn't like the truth being told. Shame.

      grant9 - 2011-07-05 23:57

      Hi PNP. Try posting again.

      ProudofPink - 2011-07-06 00:44

      Hey grant9 Seems the moderator thinks that people who behave in this way should be called sweet little popsicles instead of what they actually are.

      Smindlo - 2011-07-06 08:22

      P, this website is edited by Gwede Mantashe!!!!!!!!

      Darwinian - 2011-07-06 10:47

      @Smindlo brilliant!!!

  • hanjo.villiers - 2011-07-05 23:42

    They set the house on fire while there were people in it with children! That's plain barbaric!

      Kevin - 2011-07-06 08:17

      And the Police thugs stood and watched instead of shooting the pigs.

  • grant9 - 2011-07-06 00:09

    If I had been getting free lectric for 20 years and now the municipality want me to pay for it, I'd also be pee'ed off.

  • grant9 - 2011-07-06 00:34

    I ca forsee a massive problem if the councils want to install pre-paid meters. Whilst I was in Scotland (the best small country in the world) 2 guys fitted the meter in 1/2 an hour. There was no power interuption, there is about a weeks emergency power if you run out and it's not cut off at night. You top-up at any supermarket or newsagency using a litte plstic key. Can anyone imagine this happening in South Africa? It will take 6 workers a week to fit the meter : the whole suburb will be blacked out. When you try to buy lectric from the shop you will be told the machine is not working. When you do manage to top-up you still don't have power as your meter has been installed upside down.

  • grant9 - 2011-07-06 00:35

    I ca forsee a massive problem if the councils want to install pre-paid meters. Whilst I was in Scotland (the best small country in the world) 2 guys fitted the meter in 1/2 an hour. There was no power interuption, there is about a weeks emergency power if you run out and it's not cut off at night. You top-up at any supermarket or newsagency using a litte plstic key. Can anyone imagine this happening in South Africa? It will take 6 workers a week to fit the meter : the whole suburb will be blacked out. When you try to buy lectric from the shop you will be told the machine is not working. When you do manage to top-up you still don't have power as your meter has been installed upside down.

  • croix - 2011-07-06 01:11

    ".... going on the rampage, damaging property and endangering lives would not be tolerated". Hehehehe! - you're funny! You've been saying this over and over and over, yet there's no letting up in the looting, burning, damage to property and endangerment of peoples' lives, now is there? Blah, blah, blah ....... Another thing: HOW MANY perps are actually arrested and sentenced for such violent crimes?

  • spetsnazss - 2011-07-06 07:24

    ha ha ha banana republic strikes again !

      msendi - 2011-07-06 08:02

      Just a carelessness of less than 100 hooligans and the republic of about 50 000 000 people become a banana republic???

      Darwinian - 2011-07-06 10:52

      @msendi I always give credit when due, and I must congratulate you for making an effort to reply on these comments, especially since you are BLIND. How do you do it? I mean how do you read these comments before you reply?

  • Kevin - 2011-07-06 08:03

    The cops were there as seen on T.V. Nail the thugs and the useless cops who failed to protect the innocent. This does not need another SAP excuse,denial and cover up. This needs the cops and thugs on the scene to be jailed for along time. These cops have disgaced what the uniform stands for. This new useless attitude is in line with the ANC overlooking what the head of police are up to. Come on useless anc . Get one thing right in 17 years .

  • Gary - 2011-07-06 08:56

    No arrests have been made??? E-TV got the whole thing on video and the cops have no suspects...........whatever. Criminals, plain and simple.

  • Gibbonater - 2011-07-06 09:34

    No Arrests? On etv news you could clearly see all those involved. Meybe half those involved were cops or their family menbers. But then again why must they pay. The ANC has promised a better life for all. But only if the whites continue to pay and subsidise the rest.

  • Steve Wonderboy - 2011-07-06 18:48

    It was bound to happen. First you start by burning tyres. Next councillors properties. Zuma better watch out or his 200 million dollar property will be up in smoke.

  • Brian - 2011-07-06 19:05

    When I saw the news on e tv last night I was deeply shocked that people could resort to such a horrible act. I was not aware that there were children inside the house. I hope they arrest that person that set the car alight. If he has property of any value they should burn it as well. maybe then he can see the harm that was done

  • jock - 2011-07-06 19:12

    The democratic way is to use your voting right and vote them out of office

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-07-07 14:49

      That would be nice in a democracy. Unfortunately these people are under the mistaken belief that if you shout loud enough and make enough noise your demands will be met. Ask most of them and you'll probably hear "ANC till I die". Hope we don't have to wait too long for that to happen.

  • Vuyani-Matolo - 2011-07-06 19:17

    One question is why did the police take so long to get to the house? Secondly, these people should be arrested. We cannot go on with this lawlessness.

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