Calm returns to PMB township

2017-06-20 18:14
This is the scene of a protest in Imbali Township, Pietermaritzburg, where residents have complained about the high price of electricity. (Supplied)

This is the scene of a protest in Imbali Township, Pietermaritzburg, where residents have complained about the high price of electricity. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Calm returned to the Imbali Township in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday following a day of unrest  where residents complained over the high cost of electricity.

On Monday residents had blocked key entry and exit points to the township, hampering movement of taxis and vehicles. This ultimately resulted in some workers and learners reporting late at schools and work, while some opted not to attend.

In the evening more episodes of blockading and burning of tyres were reported in many parts of Imbali and a municipal building was also torched. No injuries were reported.

Police confirmed a case of arson.

Police spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela assured members of the public that the situation was under control, citing the deployment of extra officers in troublesome spots.

"Members of the Public Order Policing Unit have been deployed in areas that we regard as flashpoints. But in addition to that municipal security personnel and disaster management staff from Msunduzi municipality remain on high alert to deal with any situation that may arise," said Ntombela.

He also confirmed that two people had been arrested on Monday and were facing a charge of public violence.

"The fire was started at the entry point of the premises and because of the swift response from the police the damage was limited to the security checkpoint."

On Tuesday morning taxi bosses were seen at the earlier scenes of the blockade and were said to be looking after their taxis as operations had been severely affected.

The municipality appealed to residents to refrain from illegal activity, calling for the use of proper channels.  

"We respectively ask our customers to work with us in isolating criminal conduct in our city. We have initiated legal processes to deal with criminal activities," said spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha.

She admitted that the municipality was facing problems relating to service delivery, but stressed that these were being attended to.

Read more on:    durban  |  protests

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