The Youth of Stutterheim in Eastern Cape has vowed to make their town ungovernable until their demands are met. They want the entire leadership of the Amahlathi Local Municipality to be disbanded. The angry youth have been protesting for over two weeks, accusing the municipal authorities of nepotism and failure to keep service delivery promises. A number of municipal buildings and a clinic were allegedly torched by protesters.
The unemployed youth say the protest will continue until the municipality addresses the issues of jobs and service delivery.
Melikhaya Maweni, speaking on behalf of the protesting youth, says: “What we are complaining about is corruption that is taking place within the municipality, there is no service delivery at all , secondly the way in which people are employed into the municipal posts, we realised that at the municipality people who are employed are mostly relatives. Local people do not benefit at all from the economic activities of our town.”
Sajid Bilal is a local businessman from Bangladesh. He says they have suffered huge losses due to the protest.
“Ten to fifteen days we could not do business here and it is very bad at the moment for the business because people are scared to come to town from the location, so it is really affecting us.”
Matric learners busy with their final exams were also affected by the protest action. Many, like Ahlumile Mabizela, are now panicking saying they might not be able to attend to all their exam papers.
“We are very concerned about what is happening cause most of the times we arrive late at exam room because of what’s happening so we are not even sure if we going to finish our examination and that’s the concern we having as matric learners.”