update


A united protest is called for

Members of the Sikhonza Ndawonye, from left: Pastor Bafana Moses Mkhonza, Enock Mgigima, Johannes Shibamba and Meshack Sekorobele.

The Sikhonza Ndawonye, an association of indigenous churches of Mohlakeng, said the recent spate of protests is driving Mohlakeng, Westonaria and Bekkersdal further apart, as the three areas have not joined forces to address their pleas with the municipality.

The association said even though it supports the protests, it has been saddened by the exclusion of Mohlakeng and Bekkersdal, as the areas fall under one municipality and face the same issues.

“There is a common issue of lack of employment in all the areas,” said Pastor Bafana Moses Mkhonza.

Also Read: Violent protests flare up in Mohlakeng

Members of the association said there have been many discrepancies regarding employment opportunities, as many locals have been overlooked for job opportunities in favour of people who reside in far-off areas in Gauteng. It has been claimed that some of the people who have been working on municipal projects come from as far afield as Vanderbjilpark.

The association said the protests will only be effective if the three areas form a strong bond, and speak with one voice.

Speaking on the Westonaria Borwa protest to the Rand West City Local Municipality that was held today, Meshack Sekorobele said, “Mohlakeng and Bekkersdal are not being represented here. All these areas have the same issues, but we are not standing together with one voice to raise our issues.”

Sekorobele said the protests will not end, as the lack of unity will not prompt the municipality to act. He said neither the protests nor the issues will end.

“We are concerned because of the failure to represent all three affected areas. The message that is being sent out in these protests is one of ‘everyone should benefit’.”

Asked how he thought the problem should be resolved, he said, “The Mayor has to call a meeting of the representatives of all three areas, and be part of the meeting.”

Pastor Mkhonza added that it was very important for the Mayor to explain the criteria used to the community, so that these protests will come to end. He said projects by the municipality should be shared fairly between the three areas.

“The problem is that the Mayor has his own people who are constantly benefiting from these projects, while the rest are neglected,” he added.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected]  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

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  AUTHOR
Tumi Riba
Journalist

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