WATCH: Ladysmith residents shut down town, demand mayor's resignation

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Feb 27, 2020

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Durban - Protests have continued to rock the KwaZulu-Natal town of Ladysmith with residents taking to the streets for a second day, demanding that mayor of Alfred Duma Local Municipality, Vincent Madlala, step down immediately. 

In their third march this year, the march led by the Klipriver Taxi associations and the Umbubano Lokuthula saw disgruntled residents submitted their memorandum of demand to the Ladysmith Town Hall.

According to the memorandum, residents are calling for an investigation to act of corruption including tender rigging, nepotism, bribery and other issues. 

“We demand the confirmation and verification of all capital projects which must include the improvement for all suburbs in the area.  We call for an investigation about the manner in which the current municipality budget has been spent so far,” the memorandum read.

Andile Madlala, Umbubano Lokuthula leader said that they want the mayor to be removed and alleged that Madlala is using the state funds for his personal use. 

“Residents don’t have water and people are in need of service delivery while the municipality is misusing the funds. For the third and the last time now, we want him out of this municipality or, otherwise, we will bring the municipality to a standstill as from today onwards,” said Madlala.

The peaceful marched turned sour as businesses in the CBD were also affected as protesters demanded the shops to be closed. 

Resident, Sandile Mchunu, described the situation and scary. 

“Even though we saw the messages not to come to work, we still went to work. I work at the shop and our manager took everyone to the back for safety and then we were told to close the shop. Even at the mall, people where being told to vacant the mall and the shops,” he said. 

Mnchnu said that they do have issues with water and it has been ongoing since last year. 

He said that protesters complain are valid and most residents are in support of the protest as there is no development in the municipality.

“We are now drinking with animals in the river yet we have taps. People are buying Jojo tanks because that is the only alternative solution but for those that don’t have money, they are in trouble,” he said. 

On Tuesday night, social media posts circulated where residents were warned to stay away from the town. Residents closed off the road to Ladysmith and burned debris. 

Protests have continued to rock the KwaZulu-Natal town of Ladysmith with residents taking to the streets for a second day, demanding that mayor of Alfred Duma Local Municipality, Vincent Madlala, step down immediately.

Picture: Claudine Senekal / Ladysmith Herald / Tabloid Newspapers

Uthukela District Municipality also said that they received a notification from Umgeni Water reporting that the protesters have shut down the Ezakheni Plant.

As a result, the water supply from Ezakheni, Old Ladysmith, Steadville, Tsakane, St Chads, Danskraal and other areas fed from Ezakheni WTW was compromised 

The municipality has also said that the provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and other stakeholders were informed about the situation.

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In their third march this year, the march led by the Klipriver Taxi associations and the Umbubano Lokuthula saw disgruntled residents submitted their memorandum of demand to the Ladysmith Town Hall.

Video: Supplied

KZN Cogta spokesperson, Senzo Mzila, said that the department is working together with the municipalities within the uThukela to ensure that service delivery continues and that challenges are addressed.  

“The department condemns acts of sabotage of public Infrastructure. Such actions reduce the ability of communities to receive services,” said Mzila.

Meanwhile, emanating from the volatile situation in Ladysmith and surrounding areas, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in KwaZulu-Natal has taken a decision to suspend operations at Ezakheni, Ladysmith local office and Midlands district office.

The Mercury

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