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Frustrated residents hand over memorandum in Kroonstad

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On 16 January protesters in Kroonstad burned tires and filled the streets with litter and made people feel unsafe. Photo: Facebook
On 16 January protesters in Kroonstad burned tires and filled the streets with litter and made people feel unsafe. Photo: Facebook

Residents of Kroonstad who are frustrated about the service delivery by the Moqhaka Local Municipality marched from the Moakeng neighborhood to the main municipal buildings in Hillstreet, Kroonstad, to hand over a memorandum with their grievances.

On Monday despondent residents took to the streets of Kroonstad to express their displeasure against the local government. Unfortunately, the peaceful march degenerated and protesters set tires on fire and littered the streets.

The shutdown posters that were distributed read, that 29 years under democracy the government is failing the communities and that the community demand service delivery.

In the memorandum, the issues of water and electricity supply, road safety, housing and sites, unemployment, youth development, and local economic issues were addressed.

“We can confirm that we did receive a memorandum from residents with all their grievances and the municipality will respond within seven days,“ says Dika Kheswas, spokesperson of the Moqhaka Local Municipality.

“In principle, we will always support the rights of the community to have a peaceful protest march, but we will not support the marches like yesterday that got out of hand and where protesters burned tires and filled the streets with litter and made people feel unsafe.”

Kheswa said that the water issues experienced in Maokeng and other areas in the Moqhaka Municipality are mostly due to the ongoing load shedding.

“However we will address all the issues of the community and give feedback.”

Councilor Chris Dalton of the DA says although they did not partake in the march they feel that the residents have the right to march to bring their concerns to the attention of the local government.

“In principle, we will always support the rights of the community to have a peaceful protest march, but we will not support the marches like yesterday that got out of hand and where protesters burned tires and filled the streets with litter and made people feel unsafe.”

Dalton also expressed his concern about local Facebook pages posting photos of marches and protesters that was irrelevant to the Kroonstad protests.

Despondent residents took to the streets of Kroonstad in masses to express their displeasure against the local government.Photo: Facebook

“People who protest videos or pictures of similar events on social media must please just add a caption of where, when, and what to prevent confusion and not to make residents more anxious. Some of the Parys protest pictures ended up on the local pages.”

After protesters handed over the memorandum to the Moqhaka Local Municipality around midday they left peacefully under the supervision of authorities.

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