Picture: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban - As sporadic protest flared up in the country ahead of voting on Wednesday, residents of Siyanda township in the north of Durban on Monday night protested, vowing to disrupt voting if their demands are not met.

The residents were again seen on Tuesday morning gathering near the township’s taxi rank in anticipation of waging a fresh protest.

On Monday night, about 800 residents, mainly unemployed youth blockaded Dumisani Makhaye Drive which links KwaMashu to Pinetown and Newlands East and West with burning tyres and hurled stones at passing vehicles and people.

No major injuries were reported.

One resident said that they have not had water for more than ten days.

“Our water service was not restored when there was a storm and the municipality is not doing enough... If we don’t get the water, we will stop the voting process tomorrow,” the resident said.  

A few kilometers from the Siyanda hotspot, on Tuesday morning (around 9am) a group of informal settlement dwellers living near the M19 in Reservoir Hills, were protesting, demanding houses. It was not immediately clear when the protest started there, but it was still ongoing at 10am on Tuesday.

Three videos posted on the Facebook page of Reservoir Hills crime watch page showed the protesters who were mainly wearing red T-shirts, blocking the M19 with burning tyres while wielding sticks. They were later dispersed by a team of police officers from the eThekwini Metro Police and SAPS.

In Zululand and King Cetshwayo district municipality, voting may be disrupted as a result of wild cat strike by Mhlathuze Water staff. The strike started on Monday and it has seen Meerensee, eNseleni, Vulindlela and eSikhaleni going without water as it was alleged that the striking workers have sabotaged the water system by closing off valves.

“Some areas are completely out of water supply and some are experiencing low water pressure.... The wildcats went on to close some of the valves sabotaging the supply of water filling reservoirs in Meerensee, eNseleni, Vulindlela and eSikhaleni, which are the most affected areas thus far,” said Mdu Ncalane, the spokesperson of Umhlathuze municipality which relies on the water company for its water needs.

Political Bureau