Frustrated Soweto residents protest over lack of service delivery

White City residents are striking against their councillor
White City residents are striking against their councillor
Image: Tankiso Makhetha

Residents of ward 37 in Soweto this morning took to the streets and barricaded a number of roads with rocks and burning tyres.

The townships of Klipspruit, White City, Mofolo, and Fred Clarke protested over the lack of service delivery by their ward councillor Zodwa Nxumalo. Sipho Jele, a community member from Mofolo, said they took to the streets after venting their frustrations through the correct channels with no avail.

“There's a lot of projects that have stalled in this area. Youth unemployment is high, crime is rife, but there are opportunities to have these things resolved. Zodwa has been a councillor here for 10 years, but there is nothing she has done. Why do you think we’re blocking roads? We should be working and keeping ourselves busy, but she has made opportunities inaccessible to us,” Jele said.

Another resident, Phumla Zungu, said Nxumalo was inaccessible and the residents were frustrated as they had nobody to complain to for service delivery related matters.

“Last week, the police shot at us when we protested. We took out memorandum to Luthuli House, hoping they would intervene. They said they would respond by yesterday (Monday), but they didn’t. So we’re upset because nobody is listening to us,” she said.

Attempts to reach Nxumalo for a comment were unsuccessful as her phone was off. Various main roads, including Klipspruit Valley, Elias Motsoaledi and Vundla road have been closed off, while traffic has been severely impacted with the Rea Vaya service also being suspended. Police spokesperson Cpt Kay Makhubele said they would be engaging the protesting residents in a bid to quell the tensions.

“Police and Metro police have been deployed in the vicinity. We haven't received any reports of damage to property and no one has been arrested,” he said.

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