Belfast residents up in arms over non-delivery of promised road infrastructure

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Residents of Belfast and surrounding areas in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, have embarked on a protest over a road infrastructure that is supposed to link Belfast and other villages in the area. Visitors to the Kruger National Park were also affected.

The protesters barricaded roads with debris and tree branches.

They claim that they were promised the road in 2019. The road in question is about a 20km stretch.

Teaching and learning in the surrounding schools and commuters were also affected.

Johannes Ndlovu, one of the leaders of the protest action, says they held several meetings with the authorities but nothing has happened.

According to Ndlovu, the government committed that the road construction will take place beginning of 2021. The community is also demanding an urgent meeting with the MEC for Public, Works Roads and Transport.

“Now, it’s March nothing happened. Last week, we were with the mayor. The mayor promised to refer the matter to the MEC. Last Friday, nothing happened. Now, we are waiting for the MEC. We are protesting for service delivery; not politics,” Ndlovu says.

Kruger National Park affected

Visitors to the Kruger National Park were also affected.

Martin Oosthuzien, a contractor at the Kruger National Park, says the protest delays his projects. He has called on authorities to address the issue.

“This thing is making a big problem because we have a deadline time to finish the work and from last week, it happened the same and now we have small time to finish the work this thing is not good. I feel the government and the police must come here and their job.”

The protesters have vowed to continue with their protest until their demands are met.

The Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport could not be reached for comment. However, an official from the department met with the protesters.

It is reported that the MEC for the department will meet the protesters on Wednesday.