Fierce service delivery protests resurface in Masakaneng, woman dies

MASAKANENG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo has called for Limpopo Premier, Chupu Mathabatha and Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) MEC, Bioskop Makamu, to intervene following the resurfacing of fierce service delivery protests in Masakaneng settlement outside Groblersdal from Monday, 23 November 2020.

Masakaneng residents, under the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality, took back to the streets and barricaded the road linking Groblersdal and Marble Hall towns on Monday with burning tyres, stones, tree trunks and branches during a service delivery protest in portion 69 of the area. This after the residents embarked on another fierce protest in the area last month. Their protests over lack of service delivery date back to 2018.

Jacques Smalle, DA Spokesperson on Coghsta, said the fires started during the protests that started on Monday resulted in vineyards of a grape farmer along the N11 road linking Marble Hall and Groblersdal towns catching fire.

Smalle said a month ago the same community protested for basic services and that made it clear that EMLM did nothing in the interim to alleviate their plight.

“The Auditor-General (AG) found that EMLM regressed from an unqualified audit opinion with findings to a qualified audit opinion for the 2018/19 financial year. It is clear that the ANC governed municipality is inept to provide basic services to the citizens of Masakaneng. And we call upon the Premier and MEC Makamu to intervene to address the grievances of the residents,” said Smalle.

Smalle added that although the DA condemned the destruction of property in the strongest possible terms, they had sympathy with a community which was desperate for adequate water, sanitation and electricity.

Meanwhile, the paper has reliably learnt that a woman died during the fierce protest on Monday, 23 November 2020 in the area.

Colonel Ngoepe, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said police in Groblersdal were investigating a case of inquest after a 30 year-old woman, identified as Phumzile Mphogu, fell down and died on Monday, 23 November 2020 t about 09:30 during the time when the community of Masakaneng settlement outside Groblersdal were protesting.

Thapelo Motseo

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