Unrest ‘due to lack of employment’

2017-10-18 06:02
Armed members of Welkom’s Public Order Policing Unit on guard during a recent protest march organised by the Matjhabeng Unemployment Forum to present a memorandum, demanding jobs, to the mining chamber. Photo: Teboho Setena

Armed members of Welkom’s Public Order Policing Unit on guard during a recent protest march organised by the Matjhabeng Unemployment Forum to present a memorandum, demanding jobs, to the mining chamber. Photo: Teboho Setena

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

DA councillor André Steyger of the trouble-ridden Matjha-beng Local Municipality blames the violent local unrest on the lack of employment opportunities.

The unrest, which erupted on Monday, 9 October, is not new in Welkom, Virginia, Odendaalsrus and Allanridge.

It has been happening in phases since 2014 and whenever there was a protest over the lack of jobs, the police continued to arrest shop looters in the process.

A movement called the Matjhabeng Unemployment Forum (Muf) was established as a mediator to engage stakeholders in addressing the huge unemployment and also try to avert criminal activities.

“Matjhabeng is a ticking time bomb. The violent unrest this past week is a symptom of frustration experienced mainly by youth due to the lack of opportunities. The young people are languishing in the streets with no hope for a bright future,” Steyger said.

“While the DA promotes the right to peaceful demonstrations, we condemn the violence taking place as property continues to be vandalised.

“We believe that the only way forward is through constructive discussion and participation by all stakeholders.”

Steyger said the DA in the greater Matjhabeng region was running a campaign challenging the government to avail free data for young people in order for them to easily access jobs and business opportunities.

“Due to the lack of income versus the inflated expenses and losses, it is a mathematical fact that Matjhabeng might be faced with going under administration.

“Unless it is bailed out by national government or if the local leadership starts implementing effective procedure to turn the municipality around and start generating income, that might be the only resort. Monies generated by the municipality must be for the benefit of the residents to ensure service delivery takes place,” said Steyger.

Brig. Motantsi Makhele, provincial police spokesperson, said the police have arrested 61 people for crimes ranging from public violence, robbery, theft and malicious damage to property. He said the suspects are expected to appear in court today (18/10).

Makhele said the charges emanated from disruptive actions which started on 9 October in some of the towns in the Matjhabeng district.

The chaos affected Allanridge (Nyakallong), Oden-daalsrus (Kutlwanong), Welkom, Thabong, Virginia (Meloding) and Bronville.

“Several shops belonging to foreign nationals were attacked by criminal elements and a satellite police station was damaged, as were government vehicles in Nyakallong.

“A bus was set alight and a truck damaged on the R30 Road, and the bus commuters were robbed of their personal belongings,” he said.

In another incident in Thabong, Makhele said two OFM radio station journalists were robbed of personal belongings.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...



Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.