Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, Jacob Mamabolo, has condemned and expressed concerns over the continued violence by public members in Orlando over the installation of prepaid electricity meters.
According to the department, MEC Mamabolo urged public members to ensure that concerns are raised properly and orderly, and whilst they exercise their constitutional rights to protest, it must be done peacefully.
The MEC said that all municipalities in Gauteng have indigent policies that are used as a tool to assist people who are unable to pay for their basic services as a result of their economic status.
“The poorest of our poor are prioritized through the indigent policy and we make sure that, through this policy, they benefit from basic services the same way as those who are well off in our society.
“Therefore, it serves no purpose to go the streets to violently protest, destroy property, blockade roads when there is a mechanism to deal with their problems,” said MEC Mamabolo.
The MEC said the doors of Gauteng provincial government and all municipalities are always open to engage with communities, and that the collective leadership remains committed to constructive, progressive and peaceful engagements.
“With this openness, there is no need for violence in our province, and I urge all communities to engage with us at the municipal and provincial level to resolve issues of concerns,” MEC Mamabolo said.
The MEC also pleaded with the police to keep vigilance and ensure the protection of property and persons in the affected areas.
MEC Mamabolo also warned about political opportunism, which he said always precedes local government elections where those who want to become councillors would mobilise communities to use violence in order to profile themselves as preferred candidates in their own wards.
“In the process damages are done to public properties and communities are left worse off. The communities have the power to stop such opportunists and help in protecting public property,” MEC Mamabolo said.
Source : SAnews.gov.za