Lives are being endangered and valuable police resources wasted due to ANC Premier Oscar Mabuyane not honouring his promises to certain residents of the Karoo town of Steynsburg.
Today, 18 October 2019, a second day of violence broke out between protesters and the Public Order Policing (POP) Unit of the South African Police Service (SAPS) after residents blocked off roads with burning tyres and rocks, and also pelted stones at vehicles.
There were also unconfirmed reports that a motorist shot at protesters and one sustained a bullet wound to the hand.
Yesterday, 17 October 2019, the POP unit was dispatched from Aliwal North and dispersed protesters by firing rubber bullets. Today the violence escalated and POP units from Komani and East London also had to assist – again rubber bullets were fired.
The town was totally shutdown with all businesses, schools and municipal buildings closed. Protesters were keeping residents from going to work and water outages are already being experienced.
After police negotiations roads were opened and the protesters dispersed.
Premier Mabuyane promised these residents, who have issues with service delivery, housing, unemployment, contract work being given to companies from other parts of the province, and the local municipality making all purchases from the nearby town of Burgersdorp, that he would address them yesterday and today. The Premier was also to engage the residents in September, but cancelled those meetings.
In March and April of this year Steynsburg was rocked by protests and residents threatened they would prevent people from voting in the 2019 National and Provincial Elections if the ANC did not send Premier Mabuyane, then the ANC’s Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, to attend to their grievances.
Premier Mabuyane went to the community in April, shortly before the elections, and made promises, one of which was to return to Steynsburg, but this never happened.
The Premier is putting lives in danger and wasting large amounts of money due to POP units having to travel vast distances to Steynsburg.
He has now promised to visit Steynsburg next week.
The DA implores Premier Mabuyane to do his duty and visit these people to prevent the possible loss of lives and further wasting of valuable SAPS resources.
Annette Steyn MP
DA New Horizons Constituency Leader
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