Mankweng residents don't want to pay water bills

2016-02-11 14:44
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Polokwane - Police fired teargas and rubber bullets in Mankweng, Limpopo this week as residents took to the streets to protest against municipal bills.

Protesters said they received water bills but never saw meter readers on their streets.

Members of the community blocked the R71 that links Polokwane, the ZCC (Zion Christian Church) headquarters, Tzaneen and the Kruger National Park with burning tyres, timbers and drainage pipes, causing the police to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.

Community leader Makamu Malebana said a meeting on Wednesday night with Polokwane executive mayor Thembi Nkadimeng did not yield any results.

“The mayor said she will appoint auditors to investigate if the meters are working or not, and as the community we rejected that -- because we want debts to be written off,” said Malebana.

"Since 2013, we wrote to municipality, saying let's engage, but they were not willing to listen to us. Now we took a resolution that we will fight it on the streets.

Residents said the municipality was forcing them to pay for water while other residents were not paying.

“It does not make sense, we are forced to pay for the same water that our neighbours are not paying for. Why?,” asked a protesting resident.

“We are going to protest and fight until the council resolves our problems, it is way too long, this time we are not backing down,” said Thapelo Rakoma.

Shops were closed as fears of looting gripped the area.

Police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said the situation is hostile but members of public order policing are patrolling the area.

Nkadimeng told a News24 Correspondent that the municipality was encountering a "billing challenge". However, she said they would evaluate the accounts in question.

"We are going to conduct a debt review to make sure we are not undercharging or overcharging."

Read more on:    polokwane  |  local government  |  service delivery

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