eThekwini residents stranded as service delivery shuts down amid violent protests
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Durban – Residents around the eThekwini district in KwaZulu-Natal were left stranded on Monday morning after various municipal service delivery platforms were shut down amid the violent protests, according to several governmental statements.
The eThekwini Municipality’s electricity customer care centre, the bus services and Metrorail services suspended their operations on Monday due to the violent protests that have enabled rampant criminal activities.
The municipality said that residents can expect other service delivery disruptions over the next few days as well.
“The eThekwini Municipality wishes to advise the public of the suspension of the municipal bus service tomorrow, Monday 12 July. This is as a result of the current civil unrest,” the municipality said in a statement on Monday.
Metrorail KZN said that its services will be shut down for the safety of Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of SA) employees as well as the commuters.
The KZN Taxi Association also said that it has agreed to cease operations on Monday.
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said on Monday that the city has developed a plan to ensure the safety of residents and restore order.
“Working with the SAPS, we have developed an integrated plan which includes heightened police visibility in these hot spot areas. We have also activated our community structures to work with us to bring stability to the city,” Kaunda said in a statement on Monday.
The KZN province has been in flames since last Friday and, judging from images and videos circulating on social media on Monday morning, the situation appears to have deteriorated.
The protests were sparked following the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma, who is currently serving a 15-month sentence at the Estcourt correctional facility in western KZN.
Protesters quickly resorted to looting businesses, and several residents in the area have reported the mob trying to break into their homes.
Almost every mall in KZN’s economically active areas were set alight by protesters and looted.
The Brookside Mall and the Greater Edendale Mall in Pietermaritzburg were torched by protesters on Monday, sending black smoke billowing across the city's skyline.
Liquor distributors and sellers were among the hardest hit industries as looters rushed in to grab whatever alcohol they could, despite the country being in a level 4 Covid-19 lockdown which prohibits the sale of alcohol.
Police officials and the fire and emergency services have been stretched thin throughout the province, but due to the number of looters spread across many locations, some areas are now being left as a “free for all”.
African News Agency (ANA)