Township residents lose patience with officials

2011-02-16 11:07

Disgruntled community members in the strife-torn Ermelo area have been staging sporadic marches and road blocks in the Wesselton township amid a strong police presence.

Police have been firing rubber bullets to disperse the small crowds, who have been persistently barricading roads and burning tyres since early morning.

The protests have been erupting on a small scale in different sections of the township. When police concentrate in one section, the protests start in another.

Police have now arrived in two Casspirs, combis and vans at Extention 1 where the youth were toyi-toying and chanting slogans.

The township has been engulfed in protests since Sunday night after the community raised a number of service delivery complaints against the Msukaligwa Municipality.

They also accuse certain ANC members and councillors of nepotism with regard to jobs in the municipality and local mines.

They claim that whenever job vacancies need to be filled they have to pay bribes to councillors and ANC leaders, and women have to sleep with them in order to be employed.

Some community members also claim that they did not want certain councillors that the ANC’s Gert Sibande region was imposing on them“That’s why there’s so much crime here.

They demand bribes of up to R1 500 for people to get jobs here,” said January Ntuli from Thusi Section.

Christopher Nkosi said the community’s anger had been simmering for a while now and it was a matter of time before they snapped.“We’ve lost patience with them.

We’ve had many meetings with them to raise issues and there have been no solutions,” Nkosi said.

Msukaligwa municipal spokesperson Surprise Nkosi was not available to comment as his cellphone was switched off.

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