By Ross Purdon (MPL) ,Ntsikana constituency leader (Bedford, Adelaide, Peddie, Alice):
Anger and frustration with poor service delivery in the Nxuba Municipality cannot be solved with violence. The right people, who can do the job must be appointed. Amalgamating poor performing municipalities, such as Nxuba , with others is not a solution.
The DA condemns in the strongest terms yesterday’s (subs: Tuesday, 12 May) violent action in which a protestor was shot dead and two police officers injured. We urge residents to stay calm.
I have been informed that the municipal offices in Bedford are closed until further notice. This means that the community will be unable to purchase electricity or pay accounts.
Today the protesters moved on to Adelaide, 22 kms away, where they gathered outside the court building where three of the alleged organisers were being charged.
Bedford is quiet for the moment but shop owners and residents are apprehensive and very worried. They are also angry that neither the municipal manager, Siphiwo Caga, nor the mayor, Louisa Bruintjies, have released any statement or updated the community.
In the meantime, the DA councillors in the area are doing what they can to keep the community informed.
I have written to the MEC for Local Government, Fikile Xasa, to give him details of the situation and to request his intervention. The DA will also continue to fight against the amalgamation of Nxuba Municipality with Nkonkobe.
Other issues include charges of nepotism against the municipal manager in the appointment of municipal staff, incompetent and unqualified officials appointed to senior positions, corruption, the high cost of pre-paid meters, the fact that at least three committee members are related to the Ward 4 councillor and that their selection did not follow due process.