The Northern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Lebogang Motlhaping, has strongly condemned the violent protests and looting that erupted in Kimberley as residents marched over electricity tariffs.
What started as a collective of residents marching peacefully to raise genuine concerns with Sol Plaatje Municipality over electricity tariffs escalated into a violent protest.
“As a department, we sympathise with the residents and the business sector, and appreciate the planned protest action that was a legal march. It is unfortunate that the protest action turned violent as criminals saw it as an opportunity to loot shops and damage business and government properties.
“It goes without saying that the burning, looting and destruction of local businesses and government properties implies that service delivery and the livelihood of many people will be negatively affected. Government will also be expected to restore those services instead of improving and providing other essential services elsewhere.
“We appeal to everyone not to buy stolen items but to report anyone in possession of such items to the police. We also call upon the leaders of the protest march, to contain the situation and work with us in restoring peace in the city.
“Let us all work together with law enforcement agencies and as residents to restore peace in our beautiful city,” said Motlhaping. – SAnews.gov.za