The DA condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the violent service delivery protests, spurred on by taxi associations, that are currently ripping through the heart of Makhanda. The South African Police Service (SAPS) must immediately put boots on the ground to save residents from the total anarchy they are being subjected to.
Violent protests are spreading across the province, which are stretching SAPS resources.
Yesterday, 24 May 2021, the taxi organizations began protesting against the lack of service delivery from the Makana Municipality. These protests ended with police firing tear gas and stun grenades.
Today, the protest action has doubled in intensity and have taken a very aggressive and violent approach. Even a municipal building was petrol bombed this morning!
The responsibility of what is happening in Makhanda needs to be laid squarely at the doors of the ANC, both at local and provincial level. For years ANC councillors have failed to take any action to address the myriad of failed service delivery issues that plague the town, even after being instructed to do so by the courts!
Provincial Government has also failed to intervene, opting to defend incompetent cadres, rather than address the pleas for help from residents.
Businesses have been forced to close their doors, children are being prevented from attending school, municipal officials are being threatened and forcibly removed from municipal buildings, and the N2 near Makhanda has been closed to traffic.
This town and its people are effectively being held hostage!
Even the town’s water supply, already limited to every second day, has been further disrupted as protestors have threatened the very lives of municipal officials who should be switching the water on.
The Democratic Alliance is calling on SAPS to deploy all available resources to Makhanda as a matter of urgency, to protect residents.
I also challenge Premier Mabuyane to take action against the ANC councillors who have allowed the complete degradation of the city that was entrusted into their care.
Change will never come from violent protests! It can only come from the ballot box. Residents need to bring about change by voting in a DA government, which will ensure the delivery of services to residents.