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Masualle addresses Keiskammahoek violence, DA blames ANC

Apr 24, 2018
Masualle addresses Keiskammahoek violence, DA blames ANC

Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, on Tuesday condemned the violent service delivery protests that have seen destruction of public property by Keiskammahoek residents.

The protest began on Monday.

Masualle, who briefed the media in Bhisho, with regards to progress made by his government, as a solution to the cries of the Keiskammahoek communities, said that roads, school, human settlements and scholar transport are some of the key service delivery matters that have been raised by the communities of Keiskammahoek.

"The area has been in the media space lately, because of the service delivery protests and damage to property that has been going on for a while now," he described.

"To date, R30 million has been committed by Government to refurbish the hospital in that community.

"The municipality in the area has begun working on the road between Keiskammahoek and Stutterheim. Preparations to build a school are at an advanced stage and talks to accommodate additional learners on the scholar transport system are also in progress.

"These are some of the strides that have been made and Premier Masualle assured the media that his leadership has been ready to address communities in the area, to communicate Government efforts in addressing service delivery needs."

Masualle discouraged the malicious damage to property, saying this causes a set-back to efforts already made by government and the community suffers further, at the end of the day.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, said that the violence in Keiskammahoek and Grahamstown on Tuesday underlines the fact that Masualle "and the uncaring ANC government are not up to the task of effectively running the province".

"On Monday hundreds of members of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) used burning tyres and bricks to blockade the town’s main road because of service delivery issues including bad roads and a lack of housing and proper health care," he said.

"The first of these protests took place a month ago and led to the shooting death of a 62 year old man. The residents last month handed over a petition detailing their grievances to the provincial government, but no action was taken. And it is for that reason that they have now taken to the streets again."

Bhanga said that the ANC government’s inability to deal with the grievances of residents of Keiskammahoek has fuelled resident’s fury and discontent and therefore violent service delivery protests are escalating out of control.

"We condemn all acts of violence and destruction of property, it is clear, however, that the frustration arises from a failure of leadership and governance at all levels

"The community has taken to the streets to demand a meeting with those they placed in power, such as ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier Masualle, but their pleas are falling on deaf ears," he also said.

"Today close to a 1 000 residents of Grahamstown gathered in front of City Hall to give voice to their concerns about the bad state of roads, filth around town and the general decay of service delivery.

"The Acting Municipal Manager and Speaker were on hand to listen to these concerned residents, but the Mayor of the Makana Municipality, Nomhle Gaga, was nowhere to be found."

The protest escalated to Grahamstown Extension 7 where the looting of shops - especially those owned by foreign nationals, also took place.