Toyi –Toyi on the rise.
Written by: Mpho Raphata
Next year is the year of local government elections. These elections as we know them are the closest you and I come to electing people that are able to effect change to our lives. This is when we elect those members of our community who we feel can voice what our needs are and bring development to our community.
I’m slightly perturbed by comments and assertion by government authorities on service delivery protests that have rocked the country recently.
When the Malamulele protest broke out, it was branded a group of people who are destroying properties. The community had been asking for intervention for some years now. However it took violent protests for authorities to acknowledge that the issue of the people of Malamulele was even known to President Jacob Zuma and for them to make an undertaking to resolve their issues.
Let’s bring it back to Gauteng, and go to the West Rand, Bekkersdal to be exact. How many service delivery protests do we have to see from there before we see real change, accountability, a sense that community grievances are taken seriously.
On the eve of the general elections last year, even the army was deployed to the West Rand to watch over the area.
Just this past weekend the people of Thembelihle, took to the streets again, over service delivery.
What will it take for councillors to take their constituencies seriously? In Protea, Soweto councillor Mahlatse told community members they were disturbing his family time when they wanted to engage him on electricity issues. When they take to the streets, they are arrested? Do underperforming councillors get sacked? No, they get police protection and live a better life leaving their constituencies behind.
Look at Khutsong, also on the West Rand, the community fought demarcation and service delivery since the 1990s. Late MEC Nkosiphendule Kholisile was instrumental in that fight many years ago. Has the face of Khutsong changed? Are they living a better life? I don’t know.
Has all that Kholisile and the Andries Tatae’s of this world fought for go the drain?
Let’s be accountable and deliver before pointing fingers