Budget cuts blamed for Tembisa’s reduced free basic services

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The Ekurhuleni Metro Mayor on Gauteng’s East Rand, Tania Campbell, says they have had to reduce the free basic services to the community after the national Treasury had cut budget allocations to the municipality during the previous African National Congress (ANC) dispensation in the area.

Campbell says the new cost-cutting measures were only implemented after the Democratic Alliance (DA) took over following the municipal elections last November.

This led to a violent community protest in Tembisa on Monday, in which four people were killed.

Residents were protesting over the cost of electricity and water as well as municipal rates and taxes.

Campbell says she will now engage with the Gauteng Premier David Makhura in trying to get more funds from National Treasury.

“We would have to go into discussions to see if we could get extra funds from National Treasury to be able to reinstitute it. But currently, we can not do that with the budget that we have been given. But there are different platforms that we have provided and one of them that we brought in as the new administration, is the debt relief policy to assist people with outstanding debt that have been there for years,” adds Campbell.

Below is the full interview with Tania Campbell:

Four people dead

Meanwhile, the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department has confirmed that a further two bodies have been discovered in Tembisa, bringing the death toll as a result of violent protest action in the area, to four.

The two bodies were found on Monday afternoon near the Customer Care Centre, where the Municipal Centre was set alight.

Several vehicles belonging to the City of Ekurhuleni have been torched.

“We do confirm that four fatalities have been recorded in the Tembisa protest action. The two emanated from when we were doing our inspection at the CCC and we discovered two fatalities. The first two,  IPID is currently handling the case,” says EMPD spokesperson Kelebogile Thepe.

The video below is reporting on Monday’s protest: