City of Tshwane Mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, has described the ongoing Tshwane shutdown protests as a political stunt orchestrated by the ANC leadership in the region. Mokgalapa was delivering his maiden State of the Capital Address while the service delivery protests were in full swing around the city.

There were calls for a total shutdown of the Capital City, but only a few areas such Hammanskraal and Gomorrah heeded the call.

Residents accuse the DA-led Tshwane administration of failing to deliver basic services such as clean water and proper housing.

Some are calling for intervention from the president.

“It’s going to take three days until Ramaphosa comes and attends to us. We want service delivery, because it’s a long time we are looking for service delivery … since 1995,” said on protester.

“RDP’s are unfinished. Even those RDP’s that have been there for 10 years – you go into Temba – they are trenches. There are problems and when you ask the municipality, they say they have no budget,” added another protester

Meanwhile, in the inner City it was business as usual for Tshwane Mayor Mokgalapa as he delivered his state of the capital address, ironically, promising improved service delivery.

The EFF in Tshwane joined the mayor in dismissing the protests as a political ploy.

“I would call them a political stunt. The 11th of April was advertised long time ago. Everybody knows that today is the State of the City Address. So, you cannot expect that service delivery can happen on that day. It’s a political stunt driven by the ANC, of course. It’s three weeks before Election Day, last kicks of a dying horse,” says Mokgalapa.

In the State of the Capital Address itself, the mayor says the DA administration has lifted Tshwane out of financial ruin, also claiming to have created over 60 000 jobs since taking over from the ANC in 2016.

Several people have been arrested since the running battle with police started on Thursday at the Gemorrah squatter camp in Pretoria West. A nearby NG Church has been set alight and ransacked with the speakers and electronic equipment being stolen before the police showed up. The squatter camp is right next to an established neighbourhood.  Local ward councilor, Frik van Wyk, says they are surprised by the protest action as they met with community leaders three days ago to arrange for more school buses for learners in Atteridgeville.

“The Department of Educations talked to the community leaders this morning. I’m not sure what was the outcome, but we need buses and Tshwane can only give two buses at this stage. We don’t have money for more buses. I hear that’s the problem why they strike. The community leaders asked me to come and talk to them about a new school also. But Tshwane cannot build a school. The Department of Education must build the schools, but we need a school drastically here.”