Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile has confirmed that he will be going to Tembisa on Wednesday to address community members after they went on a violent protest over utility costs.
Speaking to eNCA on Tuesday evening, Maile said he spoke to Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell and asked her to accompany him to Tembisa to address residents in person.
Initially, Campbell had planned to address residents on Friday but Maile insisted it was best they speak to them sooner to avert anymore damage.
“Tomorrow we will be meeting with the organisers of the protests, the local leadership and councillors. We have also invited the mayor, I had a discussion with her, the premier (David Makhura) also spoke to her and we have agreed that she should join us,” said Maile.
Earlier, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Safety, Letlhogonolo Moseki, said that he believes a “third force” was behind the violent protests.
There were also reports that Campbell also believed that these protests were politically motivated to destabilise the Democratic Alliance-led coalition in Ekurhuleni.
However, Maile denied those claims saying he was an ANC member but he put that aside and called the mayor to join them in their mission to restore calm in the area.
“I don’t think we should be reckless or play to the gallery and involve politics. If I wanted to do that, I would have gone there on my own without the mayor and would have said things about the mayor in her absence and that would have not have solved anything,” Maile said.
Residents in some parts of Tembisa were on Tuesday currently without electricity after protesters set alight a sub-station.
Meanwhile, Eskom has indicated that it will be withdrawing its services in the township amid the violence.
The power utility said services will only resume when it was safe for its staff to work in the area.
Since the protest started on Monday, at least four people have been killed. Several businesses were also looted and at least 31 municipal vehicles torched.