Parties have lashed out at the City of Cape Town for temporarily removing services from Samora Machel residents after a official was shot on Tuesday. Picture: Screengrab
Parties have lashed out at the City of Cape Town for temporarily removing services from Samora Machel residents after a official was shot on Tuesday. Picture: Screengrab

Samora Machel shooting: Unfair to punish community by withdrawing essential services, says EFF

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Parties have lashed out at the City of Cape Town for temporarily removing services from Samora Machel residents after an official was shot on Tuesday.

Four suspected teenagers robbed one of the City’s water and sanitation team members of their belongings while they were repairing a collapsed sewer in Helen Joseph Street, Samora Machel.

The supervisor, who is also the driver, was shot and the bullet narrowly missed his spine.

Western Cape SAPS spokesperson FC Van Wyk confirmed the incident and said the police were investigating a case of attempted murder.

“According to reports the complainant and his colleagues were busy working on drains in the area when four unknown males opened fire on them.

“They managed to run away but the complainant was hit in the buttocks.

“He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.”

On Tuesday the City's mayoral committee member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said the City condemned the attack and would temporarily remove services from residents.

“It is unconscionable to target staff who are on site going about their public service duties, and the City will do everything in its power to assist the SAPS in its efforts to bring the guilty parties to book.

“The safety and well-being of staff must be prioritised and as such, teams have been withdrawn from Samora Machel until it is safe for them to return.

“Sadly, this negatively impacts service delivery to residents,” Limberg said

“We ask residents to please bear with us as water-related service requests, such as clearing sewer blockages or repairing burst pipes, will unfortunately not be attended to during this time.

“Residents are assured that every effort is being made to ensure the services resume as soon as it is safe to do so.”

However, the move has come under fire from political parties who have said that it was not fair for the residents to suffer due to criminality.

The EFF's Cape metro regional chairperson Unathi Ntame said criminals were supposed to be dealt with by the police, and questioned why the City was now punishing residents.

“It's unfortunate what has transpired when the official was shot, but it unfair for the City to punish the entire community, for the criminals.

“Criminals are supposed to be dealt with by the police, so why is the City punishing the community for SAPS failure?

“The City does not care about the well-being of the predominantly black townships, they didn’t want to service them anyway and are using the shooting as an excuse,” Ntame said.

Ntame said that the City is “literally killing people” by withdrawing services because of the health risks involved.

He added that they had stopped services a long time ago and are not just making it official, especially in light of the recent services delivery protests that gripped the City.

“All of these areas were closed, the City doesn't want to listen, and hear where people are coming from, they are just arrogant.

The only communities they are servicing are predominantly white areas.

“The City doesn't care and wants for people to be sick, and for there to be a permanent stench.

“It is a middle-finger to predominantly black areas,” Ntame said.

ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe said that the party understands the City’s frustration, but that withdrawing services is not the solution.

Sotashe said the community must help government root out criminals.

"We wish to really send out words of comfort to the person shot, and we really do not find joy when one of our staff members is under threat because of criminals.

“I understand the reaction, but it does not solve the problem. At the end of the day, people in Samora Machel are not criminals,” Sotashe said.

“It cannot be that a small group of people who have decided to run rampage to the point where they are instilling fear in the area.

“The temporary withdrawal is not a solution.”

Anyone with any information about this incident is requested to contact the investigating officer Detective Constable Mtatelwa on 071 675 4038 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Cape Argus

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