Gauteng committed to addressing Tembisa grievances

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and COGTA, Lebogang Maile, says government is committed to moving with speed and decisiveness to address grievances raised by protesting residents in Tembisa.

The violent protests – prompted by dissatisfaction over price hikes in the cost of water and electricity – have left at least four people dead, with public and private infrastructure torched and damaged.

“There are many issues. Some of them can be resolved in the short-term, others in the medium and others will be in the long-term. At the same time, there are issues that will require national government and the province to work with the municipality.

“We commit ourselves to working with the municipality… We want to make sure that whatever happens in these engagements, we are able to solve the problems the people are facing.

“We are also aware that this is not the only community facing these problems. We will [also] have a follow up discussion with all the municipalities to deal with billing [and municipal tariffs],” he said.

Maile acknowledged that the community’s grievances are legitimate and that the residents enjoy the right to protest. However, he said, “criminal elements” marred the protests and played a role in the escalation of the violence.

“Criminal elements have sought to hijack the genuine protests and grievances of the people. When you listen to the memorandum… you realise that the grievances are genuine and these are the issues people are facing every day.

“At the same time, we are calling for calm… [This] does not mean that we are suppressing people’s views, but we are saying that if they continue to march and to protest, they must do so in a peaceful manner,” Maile said.

The MEC sent his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and called on the community to unite against those taking advantage of their legitimate protests.

Maile is expected to hold a community meeting with the residents, while a further meeting with the Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Tania Campbell, is expected to take place on Friday. –

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