Johannesburg - The African National Congress (ANC) in Tshwane region has distanced itself from another protest planned for Monday in areas across Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
''It has come to our attention that residents of Hammanskraal are uneasy due to a rumoured #TotalShutdown protest organised for Monday the 15th of April 2019. What is a cause for concern for the ANC is how the supposed shutdown is rumoured to be co-organised by the ANC Greater Tshwane region and the Kekana Tribal Authority,'' the party said in a statement.
''We wish to put it on record that as far we are concerned no such protest will take place. It appears that faceless agents are behind the rumour and want to use the ANC as a scapegoat for their aimless escapade.''
A pamphlet alerting people of the Monday protest was doing the rounds across social media platforms over the weekend.
A local newspaper in Hammanskraal, Moretele Times, reported that the local ANC Youth League (ANCYL) branch has vowed to fight the shut down on Monday.
The newspaper quoted ANCYL Hammanskraal convenor Fortune Mathabathe saying all hospitals, clinics, businesses ''must continue with their operations as usual. Children must wake up and report to school as usual.''
Last week, rolling protests against poor service delivery flared in most parts of the country as the May 8 general elections draws nearer.
The protests began more than a week ago in Gauteng's Alexandra, one of the country's oldest townships, with residents setting barricades alight and saying they wanted proper services from the DA-run council.
The protests spread to Hammanskraal, Soshanguve, outside Pretoria, the Vaal and the Western Cape, among the many areas.
Schools were closed in Gauteng, and on the Cape Flats, health services were running on skeleton staff. In the Free State trucks and a post office were torched.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the ANC were in a blame game over the protests.
The DA accused the ANC of fuelling the protests, labelling the unrest as an ANC political stunt ahead of the elections. The ANC hit back, accusing the DA of being ''desperate to find relevance''.
ANC Tshwane spokesperson Bafuze Yabo said Hammanskraal residents requested a public meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng Premier David Makhura to air their grievances, and that the party has ''absolute faith'' that both leaders will heed their call.
African News Agency (ANA)