Mayhem in Masakaneng over service delivery

MASAKANENG– Residents of Masakaneng settlement outside Groblersdal once again embarked on violent protests that sent the area into mayhem since Monday evening.

Residents barricaded the road linking Groblersdal and Marble Hall, Schoeman Road with burning tires, rubble, rocks, tree branches and trucks during the protests and allegedly foreign owned shops.

Deejay Ledwaba, a community leader, said the residents demanded the completion of the area’s electrification project, formalization of the other portion of the area, improvement of poor conditions of the roads, access to clean drinkable water and schools.

Ledwaba said they demanded that Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality (EMLM) Mayor, Julia Mathebe to come and address the residents on the issues.

Simon Makua, EMLM Spokesperson, said they were expecting to meet with community leaders on Wednesday after the members of the community chased away a delegation the local municipality sent on Tuesday.

Makua told the paper: “We managed to electrify 626 households in portion 13. Portion 69 of the area is not in our jurisdiction as it is privately owned. We are expecting to complete the electrification project of portion 13 in the next financial year.”

According to the local municipality the total number of households as per design of the area is 907. In financial year 2016/17, infrastructure network for electrification for 115 households was installed in phase one of the area.

The local municipality added that in 2017/18 financial year, infrastructure network for electrification of 290 households was installed in phase two and in 2018/19 financial year, infrastructure network for electrification of 221 households was installed in phase three.

Makua confirmed that currently a total of infrastructure network for 626 households was installed in Masakeng and the local municipality awaited Eskom to energise.

He concluded meter boxes would be installed after the areas’ energizing process by the electricity distribution utility.

Warrant Officer Stan Magaela, Groblersdal Police Spokesperson, said six suspects, two males and four females, were arrested for public violence after a truck and two cars were torched in the area and one person was assaulted during the protests.

The suspects aged between 20 and 40 years-old appeared before the Groblersdal Magistrates Court on Tuesday and were denied bail. They are expected to reappear before the court on 04 February 2019 for formal bail application.

He added that the situation was calm on Wednesday morning.

Thapelo Motseo

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