A shop in the Pietermaritzburg city centre was burnt by protesting residents yesterday. Shops were also looted. The residents were protesting over power outages. Picture: Rienus Niemand
A shop in the Pietermaritzburg city centre was burnt by protesting residents yesterday. Shops were also looted. The residents were protesting over power outages. Picture: Rienus Niemand

Violent Pietermaritzburg electricity protests expand to other areas

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Jun 10, 2021

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DURBAN - ELECTRICITY protests in Pietermaritzburg continued yesterday with community members in the Sweetwaters area blocking roads in and out of the area.

They blocked the main route that connects the public to the N3, Cedara College of Agriculture and the Hilton hospital via Hilton.

The route also connects the public to the city centre which was cut off.

DA councillor Sibongiseni Majola, who lives in the Sweetwaters area, said he was stuck in the protest and as a result missed his council business meetings.

“The area has been without power since Saturday. The power came back for a few hours on Wednesday and it went out again. Initially we thought this was load shedding but when the outage was prolonged people got angry and started protesting in the middle of the night.

By midday, the protest was still going strong with no access for the area’s residents to get to town. “As I said, this seems to be only the beginning and the worst is yet to come,” Majola said.

He told the Mercury following a violent protest in the city centre on Wednesday that outages were widespread, prompting anger in parts of the city.

During a protest after another power outage in the city centre, two shops were burnt and three others looted.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said: “There was protest action at Mpumuza and Sweetwater areas where a group of community members gathered. They blockaded the road with burning tyres and rubble. The Public Order Police and local police area were at the scene to monitor the situation.”

THE MERCURY

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