Some residents in the Northern Cape have rejected calls to loot and have assembled into groups to protect local properties. Attempts to loot in the area were contained fast.
Residents say they are still reeling from the vandalism and destruction of property they suffered during the Kimberley shutdown protests in 2018.
Kimberley’s Sol Plaatjie Municipality is still battling to rebuild community infrastructure damaged during the violent protests.
The community hall bears witness to the aftermath of violent protests in Kimberley four years ago. Violent electricity protests left the city of Kimberley in ruins.
Angry Kimberley residents barricade roads:
Community infrastructure and businesses were vandalised by angry residents. Many buildings are still in a state of disrepair. The municipality says restorations will take time. The cost runs into millions of rand.
“It is costly. Sometimes your insurance isn’t really covering the structural damage that took place. the halls themselves is facilities of the community and are important because that’s where the community would converge, it’s where church services take place, people are also using them for training. That’s no more taking place. The costs are quite honestly huge. The community not being able to utilize them and financial aspect of It,” says Sol Plaatjie Municipality spokesperson, Sello Matsie.
In a turn of events, those who mobilised masses for the electricity protest then, are now guarding the community assets.
“If we destroy today what happens to the few people that have jobs? We will all suffer and not only for now,” says Tumelo Mosikare, one of the community members guarding property.
“What we did we get a tip-off that the guys want to do something to the shops down here, then we as the communities we came around and sit here at the shops and watched Pakistan shops and dry cleaners and the bottle stores,” add another community member, Lakes Palmer.
The municipality says communities will have to wait a few more years before some of the infrastructure which was vandalised three years ago to be fixed.