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Mpumalanga MEC warns public against blocking roads over fuel price

Taxis blocking the roads n Mbombela. Picture: Supplied

Taxis blocking the roads n Mbombela. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 7, 2022

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Johannesburg - Mpumalanga Community Safety MEC Vusi Shongwe has condemned community members who have been blocking roads due to the soaring fuel price.

Parts of the Mpumalanga province have seen ongoing protests over fuel, heavily impacting economic activity in the region.

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"Communities should refrain from blocking the road because that is not only dangerous for people requiring urgent medical attention, it also sabotages our economy," warned the MEC.

Protests against the fuel price hike started on Wednesday in the Mpumalanga province when trucks and taxis blocked off routes leading to the city.

The demonstrations have had a huge impact especially in the capital city, Mbombela.

The demonstrations have created a huge challenge for many, especially the closure of routes and this has left many people frustrated because they are unable to go to work or access services rendered in the city.

“Businesses also are losing income as they have not been operating since yesterday,” said Shongwe.

He added, "We are not a lawless state. People must protest and raise their unhappiness within the ambit of the law. Our country is still reeling from the ravaging pandemic that left many people without jobs. Therefore any person whose actions sabotage the economy must be harshly dealt with.”

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Yesterday, the police arrested 37 people for public violence and four mini-bus taxis were impounded during these demonstrations.

"I am calling on the police to promptly bring to book any person who is directly engaged in road closures or mobilising the community to do so.”

"We are a government that listens to its people, but we will not tolerate any criminality that comes in the form of protests that infringes on the rights of others to free movement,“ Shongwe said.

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