Pretoria - Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell has apologised to Tembisa residents for not addressing their grievances previously saying that she was not avoiding meeting them but was getting ready to bring them tangible solutions.
Campbell has also promised to resolve incorrect billing while warning municipality officials involved in bribery and corruption that she was coming for them.
She was speaking to the residents at Mehlareng Stadium in the Ekurhuleni township this morning under heavy police guard.
This after a violent service delivery protest that erupted from Monday with angry residents blocking roads with burning tyres, rocks and heavy metal objects in protest over “expensive” rates, taxes and high electricity bills.
The protest was triggered by Campbell’s failure to pitch for a meeting last Friday. She instead sent her mayoral committee members.
“I want to apologise for not coming to address you earlier. However, I wanted to make sure that what I'm bringing today is tangible, that it is solution driven and not merely lip service to you.
“We are listening as a multiparty coalition government. We understand the challenges that you are currently facing. And you want to ensure that we will provide you with the basic services that you as residents rightfully deserve.”
Campbell promised to resolve the billing issues and provide 50% write off debts for Tembisa residents.
“We will provide you with 50% write off debts in excess of one year on date of application and approval, inclusive of rates, service charges, interests and other costs.
“With the billing system, many of you have highlighted the issue of historic dates and incorrect billing hanging over you and your families. This needs to be rectified immediately. We want to assure you that the issue of an incorrect billing system is being resolved. We will also ensure that the bowls of water sanitation rates and taxes are separated from the electricity bowl.”
The community expressed jubilation at the new developments.
Speaking to Pretoria News, Tembisa Community Forum spokesperson Xolani Mnisi said the community was encouraged with the outcomes but warned that the promises must be implemented in time.
“We are happy about the outcomes of today. We are happy about the efforts that the municipality has brought to the Tembisa people to quell the situation. The mere fact that they have separated the electricity from rates and taxes makes us very happy because our people are not going to be suffering from the electricity cuts.”