The Temba shutdown that took place today was received with mix feelings by community members who suspected that the organizers were pushing a political agenda.
However, one of the protesters from Suurman who agreed to speak to Moretele Times, Mr Jakes Maleka, said this was a protest action against the lack of service delivery by the Democratic Alliance (DA) led municipality.
“The local municipality promised us to deliver quality government services when we voted for them in 2016 and now they are failing to keep their promise. We sent a petition in 2016 followed by a memorandum in 2017 and up to now we have been ignored and have not received any response.
“Since the DA municipal took over, the rate of unemployment has gone up because the programs that used to provide work for the youth were scraped. Also, during the City Budget Vote, we took notes and we noticed that places like Montana and Waterkloof were prioritized.
“So we have come to realize that the DA led municipality does not care about rural places like Hammanskraal and that is why we have decided to embark on a shutdown to send a message,” Mr Maleka said.
At about 4:00am protestors had already barricaded the streets returning anyone who tried to get out of Hammanskraal. School children were returned home and most of the workers stayed home after being aware that the shutdown was serious.
Cars that forced their way through the barricades were pelted with stones and others forced to return with the shutdown continuing for the rest of the day.
Speaking on a radio interview after his State of the Province Address, Mayor Stevens Makgalapa, said it is very suspicious that the shutdowns were organized to coincide with his State of the City Address where he was addressing challenges faced by residents and outlining his plan to resolve blockages.
He said the time to talk is over and that he is concentrating on improving service delivery and making sure that areas such as Babelegi factories are revitalized to provide jobs.