Mayor refuses to accept memo

2015-07-30 06:00
PHOTO: nompendulo ngubane

Sobantu residents protest outside the city hall against the newly introduced prepaid electricity system on Thursday.

PHOTO: nompendulo ngubane Sobantu residents protest outside the city hall against the newly introduced prepaid electricity system on Thursday.

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ENRAGED by Mayor Christ Ndlela’s refusal to accept their memorandum at the city hall, Sobantu residents, protesting against the newly introduced prepaid electricity system, on Thursday resorted to blocking the township entrance.

The prepaid system was introduced in Sobantu in April as a pilot project however, with the new system the municipality takes 40% of electricity bought, which is used to pay for outstanding water, rates and electricity debts owed by residents, explained municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi.

On Thursday residents went to Sobantu and burnt tyres blocking the entrance, and police had to use rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the residents were forbidden to hand over the memorandum because they were not permitted to do so.

She said they had not completed the application process to hold a march, which is why they were told to go home. When asked when the mayor will avail himself to speak to the residents she said that will happen once they comply with the correct procedure.

“Law enforcement, including the SAPS, is monitoring the situation as residents are threatening to block the N3,” said Madonda.

She said it should be highlighted that the marchers were given the opportunity to hand over the memorandum to the SAPS as the mayor was engaged in council business, but they refused and took it back with them.

Hundreds of residents, including those who did not go to work choosing instead to join the march, started burning tyres in the early hours of the morning before marching to the city hall.

“We want them to stop the prepaid system they introduced last year because it is exploitation,” said a resident.

Residents outside the city hall sang songs saying the municipal manager is corrupt

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