Shutdown in Makhanda, taxi drivers’ protest in Nelson Mandela Bay, or other service delivery needs in Tokoza – these are protests happening in various parts of the country in recent weeks with residents demanding better conditions of living.

Since Monday, angry residents shut the town down complaining about poor roads and the poor services delivered by the municipality. They say they have lost confidence in the Makana municipal council.

Calm has now been restored in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape after three days of destructive demonstrations by residents over lack of service delivery.

In January, they successfully approached the High Court to dissolve the council. But the council was subsequently granted leave to appeal the High Court decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal.

On Wednesday, residents held a meeting with provincial government stakeholders to attend to the challenges in Makhanda.

Shutdown organiser Lungisa Sixaba said they decided to give these departments 14 days.

“We took a decision that let’s give the departments these 14 days, all these small matters that the municipality can resolve they must resolve starting from tomorrow. So we decided that we must give them a chance, but it’s not been cut off it’s just suspended, the town is back to normal, shops are open, factories are running and people are back to work.”

Arrests 

Six suspects between the ages of 20 and 35-years-old will appear in the Motherwell Magistrates’ Court in Gqeberha on charges of damage to property and public violence. Police spokesperson Priscilla Naidu says the suspects were arrested on Tuesday during the taxi drivers’ strike.

Provincial Police Commissioner Liziwe Ntshinga has condemned the damaging of infrastructure and blocking of roads during the ongoing protest.

The taxi drivers in Nelson Mandela Bay have been protesting since Tuesday over COVID-19 relief funds.

Angry taxi drivers in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro protest over unpaid COVID-19 relief funds:

Service delivery protest in Tokoza

Protesting Tokoza residents are calling for Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina to address all their service delivery needs. They blocked roads over what they say is poor service delivery in the area and the allocation of houses.

Community member Sipho Zwane said, “Poor service in clinics, poor service in SASSA, people in fact have had enough about the poor service delivery around Kathorus. The renovation of hostels was promised long ago by human settlements people. Ama backyard dwellers. We have been engaging with the municipality for a very long time. They are promising when it comes to elections, after elections they disappear.”

Harrismith suspends temporarily shutdown

Community leaders in Harrismith have resolved to temporarily suspend the shutdown as they will be meeting with the Free State Cooperative Governance department on Thursday.

The situation remains tense while businesses and academic activities have ground to a halt in Intabazwe location. Community coordinator Neo Motaung says they will meet with the community later on Thursday on the way forward.

Motaung says they are calling for the President to come to the area and address their issues.

“We’ve suspended the shutdown because we’ve got the meeting with the MEC and his team then after all at 4 o’clock will be meeting with the community to give them feedback.”

Residents of Intabazwe demand to be separated from the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality: