Seven state cars burnt in protest over tarred road

Vehicles belonging to Bushbuckridge municipality were burnt by residents at Dwarsloop on Tuesday.
Vehicles belonging to Bushbuckridge municipality were burnt by residents at Dwarsloop on Tuesday.
Image: Mandla Khoza

Community members in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, have set seven municipal cars on fire during a protest for a tarred road in their area.

The residents of Dwarsloop, who started protesting on Monday evening, torched the municipal vehicles on Tuesday as protests intensified. No arrests had been made by yesterday, Mpumalanga police said.

Spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi said: "What we have is that the community decided to burn municipal property while demanding services ... we are asking anyone who might have information to come forward."

Dwarsloop enjoys better access to modern services, thanks to it being adjacent to the R40, the only commercial route through Bushbuckridge.

The community members' are demanding a tarred road leading to neighbouring rural villages, according to a local who asked not to be named.

"They keep on giving us excuses; we are tired of waiting and we want the road as of now. These government employees always have something to hide," the community member said.

Some told Sowetan the gravel roads in the area are in a very bad state due to the recent rains, while they have waited years for their main road to be tarred.

"If they don't give us the road we will keep on protesting until the financial year ends," another community member said.

Spokesperson for the department of public works, roads and transport, Cyril Dlamini, said there was a breakdown in communication between the community and its councillor over the construction of the tarred road, which led to protests.

"We promised to [build] the road in the fourth quarter of the 2019/2020 financial year, but the councillor told the community that the road will be constructed in the fourth quarter of the current financial year, which made the community angry as the [financial] year is nearing its end," Dlamini said.

 

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