Zandspruit residents furious after Joburg mayor's no-show

2016-04-20 18:16
Residents of Zandspruit have blocked the road leading into the area with burning tyres  (Karabo Ngoepe)

Residents of Zandspruit have blocked the road leading into the area with burning tyres (Karabo Ngoepe)

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UPDATE: Zandspruit residents say, 'No services, no vote.'

2016-04-20 16:02

Residents demanding power burnt tyres and blocked Beyers Naudé Drive on Wednesday.WATCH

Johannesburg - Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau will not visit Zandspruit residents, despite their calls that he come and address them about their demands for service delivery.

"Because I couldn’t be there, shouldn’t stop an engagement with the City, per se," he told reporters on Wednesday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of an event to confer the Freedom of the City on advocate George Bizos and Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni.

Tau said they had sent the most senior councillors they could spare to Zandspruit. It was important for Eskom to engage with the people, because their main concern was electricity supply, he added. 

Mlangeni was not able to attend the ceremony because he was in hospital.

His son Sello Mlangeni represented him. Tau said, after the event, that he was going to visit Mlangeni in hospital.

"As you can imagine, today was a particularly important day for the people of Johannesburg, for the honourees, and we had to ensure that we find a way of sending somebody to represent the City," he said, referring to Zandspruit.

Residents barricaded the road leading into the West Rand township with burning tyres on Tuesday afternoon.

They vowed to continue protesting until Tau came to address their demands for basic services. A representative from Tau's office earlier came to see them, but they refused to listen to him. 

Residents then said they would escalate their protest.

They told police and security guards in the area that they were going to eat before taking to the streets.

Taxis had stopped going into the area and local businesses were closed. Traffic was being diverted from Beyers Naude Drive.

Police officers on the scene said they were preparing themselves for a long day and night of running battles with the residents.

Read more on:    parks tau  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery

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