Premier condemns N West protests

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IOL jan 24 Thandi Modise

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

North West premier Thandi Modise File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Majakaneng - Disgruntled communities have the right to protest but should not destroy property, North West premier Thandi Modise said after a cement truck was torched in Majakaneng on Thursday.

“We have committed to engage stakeholders and community representatives of all communities across the province with water challenges to familiarise them with the plan,” she said in a statement.

“There is therefore no need for communities to be misled to participate in illegal marches, burn properties or allow themselves to be used by those who seek to exploit their genuine concerns to create an environment for chaos.”

Modise said communities should give the interventions to implement the over R2 billion provincial water projects plan a chance to be rolled out across the province.

Residents demanding better service delivery torched a cement truck on Thursday morning.

“The community is angry because there is no water, no proper roads and we don't have the RDP houses we were promised,” said community member Pule Rakomane by phone.

“From 2005/2006 there has been no water. We have a reservoir and some water pumps in our yards but there is no water.”

He said residents had resorted to buying water from neighbouring townships, alleging that municipal officials sold the water to the mines.

Residents protested since 4am, burning tyres and blockading roads in the area, said Rakomane. Police comment was not immediately available.

Last month, four people were killed in Mothutlung, outside Brits in the North West, after residents protested for water. They said they had been without water for at least three months.

Mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known as Bra Mike were shot dead allegedly by police. Lerato Seema died after allegedly jumping from a moving police Nyala. Police said he was trying to escape from custody.

Another protester later died in hospital.

Modise said communities should not allow themselves to be “mobilised to be part of an agenda” that would disrupt the momentum of interventions aimed at ridding the Madibeng municipality of fraud and corruption that had affected service delivery.

Sapa


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