The most recent outbreak of violent service delivery protests in Keiskammahoek and Grahamstown underlines the fact that Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle and the uncaring ANC government are not up to the task of effectively running the province.
On Monday hundreds of members of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) used burning tyres and bricks to blockade the town’s main road because of service delivery issues including bad roads and a lack of housing and proper health care.
The first of these protests took place a month ago and led to the shooting death of a 62 year old man. The residents last month handed over a petition detailing their grievances to the provincial government, but no action was taken. And it is for that reason that they have now taken to the streets again.
The ANC government’s inability to deal with the grievances of residents of Keiskammahoek has fuelled resident’s fury and discontent and therefore violent service delivery protests are escalating out of control. We condemn all acts of violence and destruction of property, it is clear, however, that the frustration arises from a failure of leadership and governance at all levels
The community has taken to the streets to demand a meeting with those they placed in power, such as ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier Masualle, but their pleas are falling on deaf ears.
Today close to a 1 000 residents of Grahamstown gathered in front of City Hall to give voice to their concerns about the bad state of roads, filth around town and the general decay of service delivery. The Acting Municipal Manager and Speaker were on hand to listen to these concerned residents, but the Mayor of the Makana Municipality, Nomhle Gaga, was nowhere to be found.
The protest escalated to Grahamstown Extension 7 where the looting of shops also took place.
The people of Keiskammahoek and Grahamstown have the right to effective service delivery and a safe environment. This Total Change can only be brought about under a caring DA government.
DA EC Provincial Leader
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