The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape has called for a motion of no confidence to be tabled in Sisisi Tolashe, Mayor of the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM).
In a statement by DA MP and Enoch Mgijima constituency leader Terri Stander, she said the called followed after the streets of Ezibeleni and Mlungisi in Komani were on fire from early this morning as unrest over a lack of service delivery.
Police used rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of protesters at the access road to Ezibeleni shortly after 11:00. This after protestors allegedly threatened to burn the vehicles of people trying to access or exit the area.
Stander said The Rep had earlier reported that the police had confirmed that the R67 between Komani and Whittlesea has been closed by protesters while the road to Ilinge was also closed.
Calls for the provincial government to place EMLM under administration have been made since last year.
The municipal area is facing the possibility of power cuts due to unpaid debt of over R40-million to Eskom.
Earlier this month‚ municipal assets including fire brigade vehicles and refuse trucks were auctioned due to debt of over R21-million owed to a contractor after the construction of a R21-million community hall in Sterkstroom in 2012.
I visited Ezibeleni today and listened to grievances which included the resignation of the Mayor, the ward 4 and 6 Councillors and jobs. The residents also wanted to know the status of seven residents arrested on charges of alleged public violence.
I participated in the mediation between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and community leaders and contacted Fikile Xasa, MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). He promised to meet with the community.
The DA believes opportunistic rogue elements are responsible and not the entire community.
These people burnt property belonging to their own community. Children will suffer with a burnt school and the community now have no community hall for funerals and other events.
More seriously, the roads toward the police Station and clinic were blockaded with a burning tree, large rocks and debris
The police officers on duty explained there were no vehicles or officers to assist, as they were attending to the protest action.
People have the right to protest, and I will offer my full support to drive the people’s issues. However, I will not tolerate any action that infringes the right of others.
Last week the DA was present at a 800-resident strong march of people through the streets of Komani where a petition was handed over to the Mayor. Through this petition calls were made for the EMLM to be put under administration.
Stander said only a DA government could bring the change to save Enoch Mgijima from total implosion.