Lack of action on irregular expenditure reason for recent Kirkwood violence: DA’s Vicky Knoetze


In a letter to local blog, MyPE, on Thursday, Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of the Provincial Legislature, Vicky Knoetze, said that the violent protest action that took place on Thursday morning at Bergsig and Aquapark in Kirkwood, in the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality, was as a result of a lack of action into investigating irregular expenditure amounting to millions at the municipality.

“The DA believes that this renewed violence has been sparked by a lack of action with regards to a thorough investigation into the irregular expenditure of R84.5 million by the Sunday’s River Valley Municipality. What is the ANC trying to cover up – what are they trying to hide?,” wrote Knoetze.

“More than 30 days have passed since protest action in the peaceful town of Kirkwood brought the town to a standstill in September.”

Knoetze said that the September protests were sparked by poor service delivery, failing infrastructure and the fact that R84.5 million was written off by the council as “irrecoverable”.

According to her, an agreement was reached between the Eastern Cape provincial government and the protestors that a period of 30 days would be allowed for provincial government to make investigations into the irrecoverable funds.

“The 30 days period expired on 23 October 2014 and the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Fikile Xasa, promised to meet with the people on Sunday, 26 October 2014. This meeting did take place but the people are now demanding to see Premier Phumlo Masualle,” Knoetze said.

“It would also appear that no concrete investigation into the R84.5 million that was written off has taken place.”

She said the DA is calling on the Premier and MEC to avail themselves and engage with the residents of Kirkwood.

“Immediate action must be taken.

“The situation in Kirkwood is a perfect example of how the ANC government has neglected the people once again, how the ANC government has broken its promises to the people and is showing complete disrespect to the people,” she said.

“This community is rising up to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the government of the day.”

Meanwhile, police said five people were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the violent September protests and that a sixth person handed himself over to police.

They are expected in court on Friday.

Photo caption: Local police inspect a truck that was burnt down during the September protests in Kirkwood.