Hundreds protest in Madibeng over water and electricity

The ward councillor took refuge in a house and refused to come out, fearing for his life.

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On Monday, over 300 residents from Kgabalatsane, Itireleng, Kagisanong, and Nkandla, within the Madibeng Local Municipality, took to the streets in protest over electricity and water outages. Photo: Chris Gilili

On Monday, over 300 residents from Kgabalatsane, Itireleng, Kagisanong, and Nkandla, under the Madibeng Local Municipality, North West, near the Gauteng border, took to the streets in protest over electricity and water outages, and the terrible condition of their roads.

Protesters marched towards the home of Ward 10 Councillor Fenky Phaloane (ANC) demanding he address them. Others said he should step down. When they were told he was hiding in a nearby house, the councillor refused to come out, saying, “I am afraid for my life.” The protesters hurled insults and eventually left.

Itireleng Village has had a spate of electricity blackouts since last year in addition to load shedding, and the village has been without tap water for almost three months.

Last year more than 200 people from Itireleng and surrounding areas blocked roads with burning tyres and rubble in protest over water outages.

Itireleng resident Gift Boswa said: “A week ago, we spent over six days without electricity and without any explanation. That is why we decided to come and block the roads.”

Business owner Dikeledi Taunyane said: “I sell chicken and pork meat at home and also have a baking business. I have not managed to work for the past four days … I had to throw away my stock worth R3,500.”

Kagisanong informal settlement, with over 400 households, was established in 2006.

“This has come to a boiling point now,” said Kagisanong resident Senzeni Dlamini. “In 2015, we paid someone who works for Eskom to steal power for us from Kgabalatsane Village.”

“We know that this power is not safe but we don’t have any options, since the government doesn’t care about us. It is the only way to survive. ”

Edward Baloyi, who has lived in Kagisanong for 15 years, said: “Sometimes we go for weeks without a drop of water in Kagisanong.”

“We want the truth, no cooked lies. We want to know when we will get electricity and water formally. We don’t have a clinic here, the roads are a nightmare to navigate. We are asking the municipality to think of us as human beings as well.”

Mayco member for infrastructure Moses Molekoa addressed the residents. He said Eskom was responsible for the ward’s power and the City of Tshwane for water. He said the municipality was engaging with the entities.

Comment from Eskom and the City of Tshwane will be added when received.

TOPICS:  Electricity Water

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