VOLATILE 10-DAY SHUTDOWN OF STERKSPRUIT

The Democratic Alliance is extremely concerned about the volatile situation in Sterkspruit that has been boiling since October.

We fear that it could burst into flames and there could be serious injury to life and property as the Sterkspruit Civic organisation embarks on a ten day rolling protest action to shut the town down from Monday. (Click here to see attached letter from Civics: Letter from Civics)The action will also have a devastating impact on businesses with the consequential job losses.

Currently the streets are being barricaded and rocks thrown. This action brings sharply into focus the recent events in Sasolburg, which cannot be repeated in the Eastern Cape.

In our view the portfolio committee of local government needs to visit the area as a matter of urgency.

Service delivery has not taken place since November when the Municipal Manager warned in a letter that the staff and service providers of Senqu Municipality are being prevented from operating in the town and surrounding areas. (Click here to see attached letter from Municipal Manager: Letter from Municipal Manager)

We regard the call for a separate municipality as unrealistic but what needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency is the serious service delivery challenges. Not enough has been done to resolve these issues, despite the intervention of the MEC for Local Government last year.

The Senqu Municipality has failed to deal with this issue through interacting with the community effectively.

A situation of anarchy cannot prevail.

I have spoken to the Premier to advise her of our concerns. She is aware of the issue and informed me she will be meeting with a delegation later on this week.

I have also sent an SMS to the Provincial Commissioner requesting an assurance that the SAPS have matters under control and have been assured that this is the case.

Constituency Member of Parliament, Annette Steyn has been interacting with the civic organisation and local community in an attempt to defuse the situation.

For further comment Annette Steyn MP can be contacted on 082323002.