Bushbuckridge residents protest over lack of water

Bushbuckridge - Frustrated, after begging for water for three years, residents of New Forest, outside Bushbuckridge, staged a protest early on Tuesday morning.

According to a resident, who asked not to be named, they have been without water since 2015. 

"We have been living off water from water cans, while we have taps connected to our homes," he said.

They had been without water for three years, he added.

"The budget is out now and blocking the road is to say, let the community of New Forest not be forgotten this time."

He said residents were frustrated that the only time they received water was during a funeral.

"When we see a water tank in our community, we know that only people at the block where the funeral is will receive water. Our community cannot be satisfied with water from just a water tank, only sent with the purpose of assistance to such a home," he said.

Another resident said that the shortage of water was affecting his car wash business.

"My business is slow due to lack of water, and it’s the only income I depend on."

'This is just some stunt'

A community member who also did not want to be identified said the residents have had enough with the empty promises.

"We have been quiet while other communities around us express their grievances. This is our demonstration; and we are not at war, but just to call out for attention regarding our state as a village."

The Mhala police arrived at the protest, where some residents were burning tyres, and fired rubber bullets.

A News24 journalist was caught up in the middle, and police threatened to break her cellphone. 

Spokesperson for the Mhala SAPS Gugulethu Phiri said that she was aware of the protest in New Forest and that she would investigate the shooting. 

"I have not heard of the shooting thus far, but it will be investigated, and what could have brought that up."

Bushbuckridge municipality spokesperson Aubrey Mnisi said the protesters were lying about a shortage of water.

"As far as I know, the community of New Forest has water and this is just some stunt being pulled."


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