Ga-Rankuwa protest called off after meeting with Tshwane officials

2020-02-10 14:34

A service delivery protest in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria, has been called off after community leaders met with Tshwane officials to voice their grievances.

The township came to a standstill on Monday morning after several major roads were blockaded with rubble and burning tyres.

Disgruntled residents took to the streets in the early hours to vent their frustrations over an alleged lack of service delivery in the area.

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Residents protested over issues of drugs, crime, housing, electricity, sewerage and roads that have not been tarred or maintained.

Resident Paul Majou told News24 that issues regarding service delivery have not been addressed despite several attempts by residents to get the municipality involved.

With pleas falling on deaf ears, residents had no choice but to protest, Majou said.

"If we speak, they don't listen but if you do something like blocking the roads and chanting, then they listen," Majou said.

Community leaders met with Tshwane MMC for Economic Development and Spatial Planning Isak Pietersen on Monday.

After airing their grievances, the MMC promised to take their issues back to the mayoral committee and provide feedback on Wednesday, according to Ward 30 councillor Jabulani Rammushi, who sat in on the meeting.

In turn, community leaders promised to suspend their protest, pending the outcomes of the next meeting.

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"The community was raising the issue of service delivery in Ga-Rankuwa. For quite some time we have had no service delivery from the city of Tshwane," Rammushi said.

"MMC Pietersen noted all the things raised in the meeting and he promised that he would meet with the mayoral committee as of today."

No arrests

Earlier on Monday, News24 reported that while there was a heavy police presence in the area, very few protesters were seen, apart from a group of children manning one of the blocked roads.

The group of children were turning some motorists away while demanding a toll fee from others.

The children scolded motorists who drove around the blocked road using the sidewalks.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said there were no arrests or reports of damage to property. He said roads have since been reopened but police will continue to monitor the area.

Concerns raised are legitimate 

Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa’s spokesperson, Omogolo Taunyane said the mayor was aware of the protests and would be giving an audience to the grievances raised.

"The concerns raised by residents are indeed legitimate, which the mayor takes with the seriousness it deserves," Taunyane said.

She added that the mayor would also be working with the community to resolve the burning issues.

"The mayor holds constitutional liberties such as the right to peaceful protest exercised today. This administration will do everything possible to respond adequately in this regard."

Mokgalapa will be visiting the area on Wednesday.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  service delivery  |  traffic  |  protests

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