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Gauteng cops say daily deployment of public order police in Tshwane enough as Cogta MEC weighs in

Some streets in Tshwane are used as rubbish dumps amid the protest action.
Some streets in Tshwane are used as rubbish dumps amid the protest action.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Gauteng police have confirmed the daily deployment of public order police officers from the Tshwane district to assist with the ongoing issues in the City of Tshwane.

This as mayor Cilliers Brink called for the intervention of intelligence and public order policing at a national level to "safeguard the city" against "organised crime".

Protest action has been rumbling in the capital city since July, with some workers downing tools or working on go-slows over the disputed implementation of a wage agreement deal.

The situation worsened in the intervening months and came to a head on Wednesday when six metro vehicles were damaged in various violent incidents in the Pretoria CBD. Four of these vehicles were subsequently torched, while a city employee was assaulted during one of these incidents and is in a serious condition in hospital.

The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) has denied it has embarked on any strike action in the city, despite the ongoing dispute with the city over the implementation of a wage deal.

Gauteng police spokesperson Col Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said officers had been deployed at a district level to assist Tshwane amid the violence and there was no need for intervention at a national level.

"There are also operations held by Pretoria Central police station. The officials from Tshwane are attending the district's joint meetings where operations are planned," she said.

Gauteng cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), e-government, research & development MEC Mzi Khumalo said he was appalled at the "deteriorating situation" in the city and issued a thinly veiled threat to take control of the city should its leadership fail to resolve the issues at hand.

"The MEC calls on all the parties to resume negotiations to resolve the impasse in the city. MEC Khumalo views the state of affairs in the city in a very serious light and expresses serious concern on the failure by the city to provide basic services to the residents of Tshwane as a gross violation and dereliction of responsibility.

"The continued failure to provide services undermines the stability of the council, as witnessed recently when a council meeting degenerated into a gory spectacle of violent conduct.

"MEC Khumalo condemns the wanton destruction of council property as this put further strain on service delivery. The torching of council vehicles and intimidation of workers will not help to resolve the wage disputes. We wish speedy recovery toinjured workers."

Khumalo implored the city to "put the interests of the residents first and take the necessary steps to resolve the dispute expeditiously".

"The MEC will explore options or avenues available to intervene decisively should the city fail to resolve this dispute."

TimesLIVE


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