Vikizitha Mlotshwa, NFP provincial chairperson, said they believed that the demands made by protesters were genuine.

Durban - The National Freedom Party (NFP) said on Friday that it was "deeply concerned" about the ongoing protest taking place in Colenso, KwaZulu-Natal, saying the local councillor should relocate back to her community in order to appreciate service delivery challenges.

Protesters took to the street on Thursday morning, closing the R103 road between Ladysmith and Colenso with burning tyres and demanding that their ward councillor, Thuli Hadebe, be removed from the area due to poor service delivery. 

Vikizitha Mlotshwa, NFP provincial chairperson, said they believed that the demands made by protesters were genuine.

"According to the Municipal Structure Act, it is required that the councillor must reside within the parameters of the ward where she is elected in order to monitor and address daily challenges faced by the community. 

"Councillor Thuli Hadebe who claims to be the ward councillor is staying 30 kilometres away from the community which elected her as the councillor. We condemn the growing tendency of councillors who decided to move to more developed areas when they are elected, this hampers service delivery to the community and undermine voters."

Mlotshwa said that MEC of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube Ncube, should move speedily to address the grievances of the protesting community, as service delivery and businesses in the area had been affected. 

"Failure to do so will mean the MEC has failed to deliver on their mandates and will lead to more lives lost. We also call for calm to the members of the community and give the MEC Hon Nomusa Dube Ncube time to intervene and find amicable ways to deal with the concerns raised by protesters," Mlotshwa said. 

African News Agency (ANA)