In the aftermath of the violent service delivery protest in Kirkwood yesterday (23 September 2014), the DA proposes the following action steps to be taken with immediate effect:
- That a Special Council Meeting be called to discuss the events of yesterday’s protest and for damages to be assessed as well as to put in place pro-active steps to prevent a reoccurrence of these events and defuse tensions;
- For ring leaders to be identified, arrested and prosecuted for the display of public violence, destruction and damage to property and vandalism;
- For the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to investigate the matter and compile a report that must be tabled before the legislature’s next portfolio committee meeting on Cooperative Governance; and
- A report to be compiled by the Department of Safety and Liaison on any possible SAPS shortcomings related to the prevention of the scale of yesterday’s violence and destruction in Kirkwood, which must be tabled at the next legislature portfolio committee meeting for Safety.
Yesterday protestors took to the streets, vandalised buildings, burnt down the municipal offices, the ANC offices and several vehicles and implements due to a recent report of irregular expenditure of R 84.5 Million at the Sundays River Valley Municipality. The recent incidents affecting water supply to the area caused by failing infrastructure have compounded the problem.
The DA understands the plight of the people in the face of poor service delivery but does not condone any acts of violence or destruction of property. The fact is that people get the government they vote for.
The situation in Kirkwood is the result of what the protestors voted for on 7 May 2014. It is unacceptable for them now to show their dissatisfaction by the destruction of property and inciting violence. This is not the manner in which to change your circumstances, the only solution is to vote for change at the ballot box.