Irate residents go on a rampage

2019-04-18 06:01
Litha Park residents declared a shutdown of Khayelitsha last week Thursday. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Litha Park residents declared a shutdown of Khayelitsha last week Thursday. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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Exorbitant water bills were apparently at the centre of last week’s “total shutdown” of Khayelitsha, particularly the upmarket Ilitha Park.

In a show of force, irate residents woke up in the break of dawn and barricaded roads in and out of the area with burning tyres and heavy objects, demanding an intervention from the City of Cape Town.

As early as 03:00 on Thursday 11 April, roads into the area were on fire.

The mayhem continued late into the day, forcing the closure of schools and other institutions in Khayelitsha.

Residents wanted mayor Dan Plato to come and address their concerns. They are complaining about high water bills.

Reverend Derrick Mtsolo, one of the people who orchestrated the protest, said they have been trying for some time to address their issues with the City but it fell on deaf ears.

“We were expecting the mayor to personally come to us,”said Mtsolo.

However, on Tuesday 16 April Plato decided to send his representatives to listen to the residents.

They were then held hostage at the Khayelitsha Training Centre, forcing Plato to come and talk to them.

Mtsolo said they gave Plato a proposal to remove water meters and have the bills cleared.

He claimed some of the meters were faulty.

Plato lashed out at residents for holding City officials hostage. “I have been very accommodative to the residents because their representatives even came to my office last week,” he said.

Plato said what he was requesting from them was that they collect all the high water bills and bring them to him so he can assist them.

Plato said there must indeed be an administrative mistake if some households get very high water bills.

He said once they bring him the bills he will then see what he can do about it.

Lingelethu West police spokesperson Sergeant Xoliswa Nyalambisa said they received information about the hostage situation at the training centre.

She said they went to investigate and on arrival, Plato was already addressing the residents.

She said the meeting carried on peacefully and the police stayed to keep an eye.

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