Residents shut down polling station over lack of water

Residents of Emaphupheni, Etwatwa protesting and blocking voters from voting at Ward 65 Assemblies of God voting station demanding water.
Residents of Emaphupheni, Etwatwa protesting and blocking voters from voting at Ward 65 Assemblies of God voting station demanding water.
Image: Thulani Mbele

The community of Emaphupheni, near Daveyton on the East Rand, have shut down a voting station as they protest over lack of service delivery. 

Residents closed the Assemblies of God voting station in Extention 14.

They started protesting in the early hours of Monday morning by blocking the R555 highway towards Springs and Bronkhorstspruit towards old Delmas road, using rocks, bricks and burnt tyres, blocking people from going into voting stations.

Residents said the area has been battling a water crisis for three months.

Lucia Mpil from ward 66 said: "We have no access to the water truck. They only brought it (water truck) today after realising we meant business by blocking the roads," said Mpila.

The angry residents say they cannot vote without water. 

"How do we even make our way to voting station without bathing. We are tired of making personal efforts to have access to water. We have to go to the Phumlani cemetery that is over 7km away from our homes [and is] across the R555 freeway. 

She said they have not bathed and cooked in three nights. 

"We are smelly and hungry, so no, we [are] not voting. We cannot vote for oppression... until the issues have been resolved and attended to in a satisfactory manner, we are not voting and no one will vote till our cry is heard."

Another resident Nokuthula Mthembu

said elderly people have been more affected. 

Sowetan has established that a water truck has been sent to supply water to the residents in the area how ever it is not enough. 

Police have been deployed to the area.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.