DA calls on MEC Xasa to act in Stutterheim unrest

The DA has called on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa to step in and to resolve the violent service delivery protests in Stutterheim.

Earlier this month, the Amahlati municipal offices were gutted by angry protesters while earlier today, police arrested four people following clashes between community members and the police in Mlungisi and in the town. Roads to Mlungisi were blocked with burning tyres and rubble.

DA EC Deputy Shadow MEC for COGTA Andrew Whitfield said in a statement that there seemed to be no end in sight for the protests.

“Two weeks ago one person was killed and 18 arrested after young people protested against a lack of jobs, nepotism and bad service delivery.”

He said the DA in the Eastern Cape was calling for the municipality to be placed under administration in terms of Section 139 (1) (b) with immediate effect.

Whitfield said he had visited the town last week to inspect the damage caused by protesters.  Four municipal buildings, including a clinic, had been burned to the ground and public property such as traffic lights were damaged.

“The town is littered with rubbish and rubble and there is no sight of municipal workers.”

A number of investigations into Amahlahti Municipality by the Eastern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) remain active and must be concluded speedily.

Whitfield said after meeting with a number of local business people, councillors and residents it is clear that Amahlathi Municipality is in urgent need of a competent administrator who can restore order.

“Residents and businesses have complained that they have not received rates accounts for up to six months. One business owner indicated that rubbish had not been collected for at least three months. This cannot continue.”

He said he would write to Fikile Xasa, MEC for COGTA, and request the Amahlathi Municipality be placed under administration.


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