Tembisa residents take to the street over high rates, taxes

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Residents in Tembisa on the East Rand have urged that Eskom remove the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality as the provider of electricity in the township.

Irate community members shut down Tembisa from the early hours of Wednesday morning, protesting against the blackouts in the area and want the Metro to eradicate exorbitant rates.

A violent protest erupted earlier on Wednesday, residents accuse the Ekurhuleni Municipality of providing substandard services. They say they have handed over several memoranda to the Metro but nothing has changed.

Tembisa Community Forum’s Xolani Mnisi says, “We wrote a memorandum in March 2022, which was received by one of the MMC’s of Ekurhuleni. Our main concern was the rates in which Tembisa is billed very high in all the Ekurhuleni townships. Since March our grievances have not been attended to.”

Residents accuse the Metro of charging them exorbitant municipal rates and taxes and for disbanding free water and electricity for indigent homes in the area. While the community was protesting, leaders visited the Ekurhuleni council in Germiston. However, their feedback fuelled more tensions.

Tembisa residents demand electricity:

Ekurhuleni Metro Police says they will continue to keep a close watch.

EMPD spokesperson, Kelebogile Thepa says, “What’s for us to do now will be to ensure that we monitor the area and also to allow for traffic to flow. It is a bit of a challenge because once you clear the road there are those who are left behind, they start to block it all over again.”

The Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality conceded that there’ has been a reduction of free water and electricity for poor families. And that they have not properly communicated these changes to Tembisa residents.

They denied that they charge high municipal rates. The metro is also planning to meet Tembisa residents next Friday to address the grievances raised.