Three more people have been arrested for public violence, after an angry group of Winburg residents, in the Free State embarked on a protest action for two days. This brings the number of all those arrested to six.
A truck was also set alight on the N1 road on Thursday which led to the route being closed from the side of Kroonstad to Bloemfontein. A mop-up operation in the area was carried out and the N1 road has been opened.
Disgruntled Winburg residents, who have been protesting for two days over service delivery issues are disputing allegations made by the Masilonyana Municipality that a meeting took place between the two parties.
This is after municipal spokesperson Zongezile Ntjwabule, revealed that they met with residents who were illegally occupying the municipal land before, handing them eviction letters.
Calm has been restored in the area, however, teaching and learning is still disrupted.
“When you’re saying you’ve met people, few people to present those letters, look why can’t you go to the community and say community here is a letter? So, nothing has happened. So, we don’t know anything about those letters that they’re talking about. What we know here is we want the sites, we want the sites where we reside, not the sites that people cannot stay there,” says community representative Peter Diphoko.
Community members say municipality has not been attending to their grievances:
The community also demands clean drinking water and job opportunities.
“At the moment there is a project that has been registered with us, of the length of 10 kilometres, to the value of R36 million in Masilonyana. It’s at the procurement stage. We expect that by October at some time, that is where procurement should start, service provider should be appointed, 2022, 2023,” says Free State Cooperative Governance spokesperson Sello Dithebe.
Dithebe also appealed to residents to remain calm as help is on the way.
“In this particular instance, if the municipality is of the view that it was already in process of allocating the issue of sites there, it is important that there be cooperation between residents and the community.”
Police continue to monitor the volatile situation.