Protesters refuse to budge in Gcothoyi

2019-08-28 06:03
photos:andile sithole (Left) Some of the protesters during a protest near Kranskop early this month. (Right) Protesters dug trenches on the roads in Gcothoyi.

photos:andile sithole (Left) Some of the protesters during a protest near Kranskop early this month. (Right) Protesters dug trenches on the roads in Gcothoyi.

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RESIDENTS in Gcothoyi vowed to continue protesting until uMzinyathi District Municipality addresses their concerns.

More than 50 disgruntled protesters blocked the road with burning tyres and stones in Gcothoyi near Kranskop and demanded the Mayor of uMzinyathi District Municipality, Petros Ngubane, supply water in Ward 6.

The protesting residents also accused Ngubane of sowing division in the community.

The protesters told the Gazette that the water taps that were installed by uMzinyathi District Municipality are not working.

One of the protesters said: “The mayor promised us that we will have access to clean water in Ward 6.

“As the community we feel that he is making empty promises.

“He promised us at a public meeting.

“Women and children must walk more than eight kilometres to fetch water from the river.

“When we phoned him, he told us that we can continue protesting and dig up the road.

“We are very concerned about the mayor’s statement.

“As the community of Gcothoyi, we feel that the mayor is sabotaging the ward councillor and ward committee because they are not the supporters of the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party). The mayor must not use politics when delivering service to the community.”

UMzinyathi District Municipality communications manager Nomonde Nzimakwe said: “Following the protest action in Ward 6, in Gcothoyi area, the Operations and Maintenance Section together with the Acting Municipal Manager met to try and speed up the process of finishing the outstanding work in that area.

“The contractor will be on site on Monday [August 26] to finish up the outstanding work which includes connecting to the reservoir and fixing the water pipes.

“This project is anticipated to be completed in six weeks’ time, thereafter commissioning and testing will be done and the community will have access to portable water.

“UMzinyathi District Municipality continues to be committed in meeting all service delivery needs of our communities; as such, on [August 20], a meeting on the state of water supply was conducted in the KwaCele tribal court and Edube Hall.

“This meeting was to address all water-related issues the community might have.

“These meetings are being held after the Mayor, Petros Ngubane, had promised that he will be visiting different communities throughout the district to address all water-related issues during this year’s IDP roadshows,” Nzimakwe added.

Police spokesperson in Kranskop Sergeant Delisile Ndwandwe said the police attended the protest. No case was opened.

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