Residents protest in Utrecht

ANGRY residents of Utrecht in northern KwaZulu-Natal brought the rural town to a standstill yesterday demanding municipal services.

The protesters demanded that the Emandlangeni municipality be dissolved with immediate effect "because of a failure to deliver services".

The protesters said they had "no confidence in the municipal leadership because it had failed to deliver much-needed services and had also failed to arrest officials allegedly involved in fraud and corruption".

The march to the municipal offices was monitored by police. The protesters were demanding better infrastructure, including roads, houses and health facilities.

They called on provincial MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube to intervene. They also want Dube to look into allegations that some municipal officials were selling RDP houses.

The protestors gave Dube seven days to respond to their demands.

They also demanded to know why local inkosi Siphamandla Khumalo had not been installed.

Community leader Johannes Zikhali said the municipality had approved the building of 680 houses as an extension to White City, Khayalethu, in 2005 but to date no structures had been erected.

The marchers handed a memorandum to Dube's representative Nhlanhla Moloi.

Municipal manager Velaphi Kubheka said: "We met with the community in April. What they raised is new to us. But the memorandum was not meant for us, but MEC Dube."