Nine arrested during water protest

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Water in Thaba Chweu in Mpumalanga is safe for drinking despite the municipality failing to achieve Blue Drop status, said an independent analyst on Wednesday.

Nine people were arrested during a service delivery protest in Lilydale in the Bushbuckridge municipality on Monday, Mpumalanga police said.

“At 6am residents... went on the rampage. They burnt municipal offices and a Caterpillar grader,” said Lt-Col Leonard Hlathi.

The residents were demonstrating their dissatisfaction over municipal water in the area which was unfit for consumption.

Earlier, Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa released the 2012 Blue Drop Report, warning that the water of 14 municipalities, including Bushbuckridge, did not meet government standards.

Residents were advised to treat the water, through boiling or the use of bleach, before drinking it.

Hlathi said the situation remained tense and police would continue to monitor the area.

The nine people arrested would appear soon in Bushbuckridge Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence and arson. - Sapa


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