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'act on protests to avert chaos'

By Penwell Dlamini andMcKeed Kotlolo | Mar 12, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE Government must deal with service delivery problems to avert protests and embarrassment during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

THE Government must deal with service delivery problems to avert protests and embarrassment during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Joe Mavuso, facilitator of community and citizen empowerment at the Institute for Democracy in Africa, said protests during the tournament would tarnish the country's image.

"It would be an embarrassment for our country," Mavuso said. "The tournament brings with it an opportunity for the country to sell itself to the world.

"The government must engage these communities and make a commitment that their demands will be met even after the World Cup."

For the last six months violent service delivery protests have rocked the country, with communities threatening to disrupt the World Cup.

There have been protests in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng recently.

The Ministry of Police says it is ready to maintain order in the country, before and during the World Cup.

"People have a right to voice their frustrations but that must be done within the framework of the law," spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said.

Hosni Mosesi, a community leader in Sharpeville, said there was no stopping them.

"We have had a meeting with the premier of Gauteng, but nothing fruitful came of it. Nothing is being done to improve our lives but a lot is being done to impress the world," Mosesi said.

Bongani Ntuli, a community leader at the Mayfield informal settlement in Daveyton, joined the chorus.

"Nothing has changed in our community since 1994 and there has been no consultation," Ntuli said. "It is not our plan to cause chaos but we want the government to hear our cry.

"If the councillors don't come to discuss our grievances before the World Cup we wont stop protesting."

In Atteridgeville the Gauteng Civic Association met with the SAPS and a delegation from the Department of Human Settlements to avert yesterday's protests but it was fruitless.

Themba Ncalo, general secretary of the organisation, said: "The department has had three weeks to come back with feedback. If we are not satisfied with their response, we will continue with the protest during the 2010 Fifa World Cup."


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