Ongoing violent protests and community unrest in Stutterheim are beginning to drastically affect the economy of the small town, which is fast becoming a no-go zone.
Despite having written to Co-operative Governance and Traditional affairs MEC, Fikile Xasa, calling for the town to be placed under administration, there has been no intervention. The failing ANC leadership, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, have opted to rather give the town a wide berth.
The Democratic Alliance will therefore lead a high-level delegation to meet with residents and business owners to determine what can be done to resolve the ongoing protests and bring stability back to the town.
I have already spoken to a number of business owners in Stutterheim, all of whom are concerned about the impact a month of violent protests in the area has had on their businesses.
For the past month they have had to close their doors as a group, called “the mob”, have threatened staff and property. Hundreds of thousands of rands worth of stock has been lost or plundered by “the mob” from trucks that have been burned along the main road running through the town.
A water pump station feeding Mlungisi Township has also recently been damaged by protestors and this is placing significant strain on the town’s water supply. There is only one other pump station in the town and businesses reliant on a constant water supply are fearing the worst.
Businesses and residents have complained to the DA that municipal services have ground to a halt, with no refuse collection services or municipal bills being received for more than three months now.
The town, popular among tourists, resembles a war zone and the violence associated with the protests is hurting the hospitality industry.
This dysfunction and chaos are a clear sign of a failing ANC that is not capable of governing.
The DA believes that stable and well-run local governments are the foundation of growing economies that create jobs.