Today, 31 October 2018, chaos again erupted in Stutterheim after angry community members clashed with public order police between Mlungisi township and Stutterheim. All roads to the township were blocked with burning tyres and rubble and arrests were made.
These violent protests are ongoing and there seems to be no end in sight.
Two weeks ago one person was killed and 18 arrested after young people protested against a lack of jobs, nepotism and bad service delivery.
Following the previous chaos that erupted in Stutterheim the Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape called for the Amahlathi Local Municipality to be put under administration in terms of Section 139 (1) (b) effective immediately.
I visited the town last week in order to inspect the damage caused by the protestors.
Four municipal buildings, including a clinic, were burned to the ground and public property such as traffic lights were also damaged.
The town is littered with rubbish and rubble and there is no sight of municipal workers.
It is clear that declining standards of service delivery, an absent Municipal Manager and ANC factionalism lies at the heart of the chaos in Stutterheim and the greater Amahlati Municipality.
The Municipal Manager, Ms Ivy Sikhulu-Nqwena, who allegedly has a checkered past at the Mnquma Local Municipality, has gone into hiding while services have ground to a halt.
A number of investigations into Amahlahti Municipality by the Eastern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) remain active and must be concluded speedily.
After meeting with a number of local business people, Councillors and residents it is clear that Amahlathi Municipality is in urgent need of a competent administrator who can restore order.
Residents and businesses have complained that they have not received rates accounts for up to 6 months. One business owner indicated that rubbish had not been collected for at least three months. This cannot continue.
I will write to Fikile Xasa, MEC for COGTA, and request the Amahlathi Municipality be placed under administration.
Only a DA government can bring the change that will create fair access to jobs, deliver better services and Build One SA for All.
Andrew Whitfield MPL
DA EC Deputy Shadow MEC for COGTA
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