The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concern over ongoing service delivery protests and the impact it has on businesses. Picture:Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concern over ongoing service delivery protests and the impact it has on businesses and jobs.

“We are already in a very difficult situation with low growth in the economy and the continuing threat of load shedding, so protest action is the last thing we need,” Geoff Jacobs, President of the Chamber said.

Over the past few days, there have been protests in several Cape Town communities. On Friday, protests were in Blackheath and Eerste River, while it was calm in Lwandle and Khayelitsha.

Jacobs said the answer to the country’s problems lies in constructive steps and initiatives to improve the situation rather than disruption and violence, which could exacerbate it.

“In other words, the disruptions to life in the city will have exactly the opposite effect to what the protesters want. It is a self-defeating strategy,” Jacobs said.

Meanwhile residents in Khayelitsha are set to meet the City of Cape Town this week, over water issues in the area.

Scores of protesters took to the streets this past week where they blocked roads with bricks and burning tyres.

The demonstration also had an impact on health care and transport services in the area.

Residents from Ilitha Park are demanding that the City address their alleged high water accounts and access to water.

“The community is frustrated and aggrieved by the City’s problematic municipal billing system.

“The system is ripping off us as the poor, the installation of new water management devices without any consultation is wrong,” said Bishop Derrick Mtsolo of Litha Methodist Church in Ilitha Park. Mtsolo is the chairperson of a group called the Water Crisis and High Bills.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste said: “The City has engaged with this group, not only in writing but in a lengthy meeting held last month that was attended by Mayor Dan Plato and myself.

She said a meeting is planned for Tuesday and the City has been corresponding with the group’s representatives. “The City is still committed to addressing residents’ concerns,” Limberg said.

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Cape Argus