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Protesting Westville residents claim Mayor Bobani doesn't want to engage them

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 21, 2018
Protesting Westville residents claim Mayor Bobani doesn't want to engage them

Protesting Westville residents, in Port Elizabeth, on Wednesday expressed their unhappiness that Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Mongameli Bobani, has not come to meet with them over their grievances.

The protests in the area started last week with residents demanding that the Mayor makes an effort to come and listen to what they have to say.

According to Babalwa Davids, a local resident, after their protest was dispersed by the police on Thursday last week, three of the protesters went to engage with the Mayor and they happened to find him in his office.

She said that the protesters explained why the Westville community had decided to protest.

Davids said that unfortunately, Bobani said that he would not be able to attend to their grievances on Thursday, but he would avail himself on Tuesday, when he would visit Westville to engage with residents.

"We told him that if Tuesday came and he didn't adhere to his promise, then we will wait for him while the tyre is burning on the road,” she added.

"Now, Tuesday came, but he didn't respond even when we called his office; he still didn't answer his phone or return our messages - even now he hasn't returned to us.”

Davids said that this is despite him emphasising that he had cleared his diary and would visit Westville on Tuesday.

Protesting Westville residents want roads fixed and Bobani to address them

She said that residents had no choice but to again take to the streets and burn tyres as a sign to Mayor Bobani that they mean "business”.

"We now don't want them to even fix the road, we want them to come to us and hear what we are saying that we want electricity and our roads to be fixed.

"They promised to fix our roads and they had a good start when they put gravel on the road and promised that people will be repositioned before the end of this year," Davids said.

Asked about the truck that was burnt by residents on Wednesday morning, she said: "The truck that has been burned was burned in Kleinskool not by us, we just closed the road with tyres only."

RNEWS also spoke to Nomonde Nomoyi , who said that the police where monitoring the situation.

"Since the police have been deployed in the area, it has been quiet, but the community is angry after being ignored by Bobani."

The residents said that they will continue with their protest until the mayor responds to their grievances.

RNEWS, at the time of publishing, was still waiting for a comment from Mayor Bobani.

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