Ga-Rankuwa councillor wants protection order after service delivery protest at house traumatises son

Ga-Rankuwa Ward 30 councillor Violet Phalwane. Picture: Supplied

Ga-Rankuwa Ward 30 councillor Violet Phalwane. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 10, 2022


Pretoria - A local councillor in Ga-Rankuwa has threatened to obtain a protection order against some community members for intimidating her family during a service delivery protest outside her house on Women’s Day.

The protest was staged after efforts by the community to get the City of Tshwane to unblock their sewerage drainage failed to yield positive results.

Ward 30 councillor Violet Phalwane told the Pretoria News that she was aware of the problem, which had resulted in human waste spilling over from the manholes into residents’ yards.

Phalwane said she was also affected by the situation as sewage was flowing in her backyard.

Sewage drainage problems in Ga-Rankuwa. Picture: Supplied

While she sympathised with the community, Phalwane said she was irked by an incident on Tuesday, which saw a group of people barricading her entrance with bricks and stones.

A video showed some residents blockading Phalwane’s gate with bricks and stones while also hurling insults.

The councillor said she was not at home when the incident took place, but that her child was there to witness everything.

“I am going to open a case of intimidation against them and obtain a protection order. I am not going to allow people to traumatise my child. My child is not a councillor. I am a councillor,” Phalwane said.

She said her child who is doing Grade 12 was traumatised and that could affect his performance at school, especially now that he was busy with mid-year examinations.

According to her, one of the protest instigators was her neighbour, who tried mobilising the community to gang up against her.

“I don't have a problem when the community comes to harass me. But I am against them coming to my house to harass my child. They hurled insults at my child who was trying to explain to them that even our sewerage has been affected,” she said.

One of the protesters, Lillian Ranta, said the affected households were located in phase three and four of the township.

Sewage drainage problems in Ga-Rankuwa. Picture: Supplied

She said people descended on the councillor’ house because they felt that she was doing nothing to address their problems.

She said the community previously contributed R50 each to hire a person who can unblock the drainage, but it unfortunately blocked again after the repair.

Ranta said the councillor had accused her younger brother, who used to have a three-year contract with the municipality, of deliberately blocking the sewerage.

Phalwane refuted the claims, saying she was not even the one appointing contractors.

“Her brother used to have a contract for unblocking the sewerage and his contract ended last year in September. His contract was extended for six months. The municipality has not yet appointed a new service provider.

“Why is it that when there is a service provider the sewerage is not blocking? But now that there is no service provider they are constantly blocking,” she said.

She pleaded with the community to be patient as she had elevated the problem to a regional director, who promised to make sure it was attended to.

When the Pretoria News visited the area, many residents complained that the stench from the sewer was unbearable and posed danger to their health.

There was also a truck with workers who were in the process of unblocking the sewerage.

Pretoria News