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Criminals Hijacked “Genuine” Concerns Of Tembisa Residents

Criminals Hijacked “Genuine” Concerns Of Tembisa Residents

Lebogang Maile, the Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC  said that criminal elements had hijacked what he called the “genuine concerns” of the people of Tembisa.

Service delivery protests, which led to the destruction of property in the East Rand township of Tembisa, have claimed at least four lives this week.

Public and private infrastructure, including a care centre, was also set alight by the aggrieved community members. An increase in electricity and water tariffs are cited as the main grievances of the residents of Tembisa.

Maile said, however, that the criminality during the protests was not warranted: “These are issues that affect people daily, and they can’t not be raised. It would also be amiss of us not to condemn the criminal elements.”

The MEC said that they had established that criminals took advantage of genuine community concerns over the increase in water and electricity tariffs in Tembisa and turned peaceful protests into violent destruction.

Maile also said that he was having discussions with several ministers, including Pravin Gordhan, on whether indigent communities like Tembisa could be assisted to manage the high cost of electricity.

He has also offered to organise a memorial service for the four people who were killed during riots and said that the service will also be used to promote unity in crime prevention in the area.

“We would also like to have the memorial service to bring together the people of Tembisa, unite them in grieving and to also recommit ourselves together with the people of Tembisa,” Maile said.

At the same time, Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell said that she planned to address the community on Friday on their grievances.


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