Residents of Eesterus near Mamelodi say lack of basic services in their area could lead to them snubbing next year’s general elections. They accused the government and the City of Tshwane of failing to resolve their concerns.

Angry residents have been blockading the Stormvoel road and other roads connecting their township with the city since the early hours of Wednesday morning demanding better services.

Eersterus is one of the oldest townships in Pretoria. Residents say they have to take their plight to the streets due to the ignorance of government and the City of Tshwane authorities.

They are demanding decent housing, reduction of municipal levies and rates, as well as uninterrupted electricity and water services.

Unemployment and escalating crime are no exception to this drug infested community.

Community leader Napoleon Muller says residents are tired of empty promises.  “Always promises, promises, promises. The DA’s Solly himself has come and told the community he cannot build houses for Coloured people only. We have crisis with houses. Our lights always go off. And they say the problem is with substation batteries. I don’t know how the substation has the batteries.”

Residents say they want new leadership to take control of the situation. One of the concerned residents Zelda Masdorp says she is not going to waste her vote come next year’s general elections. “No we are not going to vote. The ANC did not even do anything for Eersterus which is now 60 years. Not even for our children. I’m not going to vote.”

Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Ward Councillor in the area, Lawrence Benjamin says they are busy fixing the local power station. However, he says they have a challenge with aging water and power supply infrastructure.

“What the city has done is to procure the equipment to fix the substation. With regard to the water the replacement of the water network has begun in the area. But this is not happening at the speed that the community wants.”

The situation has compelled the City of Tshwane to suspend its bus operations in Eersterus. The city says operations have been put on halt as the bus routes and alternative routes are all blocked and this poses danger to the drivers and commuters.

“We are going to continue to be on site just to monitor the situation until the situation is back to normal. We would like to advice motorists about the closure of Stormvoel and Tsamaya Roads up until both entrances of Mamelodi. They will remain closed and we advise motorists to avoid coming in this area. We will continue to be here until the situation is normal,” says Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba says they’re monitoring the situation.

Police have used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse angry protesters. Several people have been injured.