Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sakhile township...SA don't want the world to see this....very few pics....

Residents of Sakhile township east of Johannesburg look at burning barricades during a protest against the slow delivery of basic services, September 30, 2009.

Residents from the Sakhile Township near Standerton, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, protest against their poor living conditions Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009. Resident are protesting their poor living conditions in several eastern South African towns.

Residents from the Sakhile Township near Standerton, South Africa, east of Johannesburg participate in a protest, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009. Police say they fired rubber bullets to scatter violent residents protesting their poor living conditions in several eastern South African towns.

Sakhile a no-go area 

The streets of Sakhile township near Standerton were littered with garbage and broken glass on Tuesday night after another day of service delivery protests.

Concrete barriers have been moved onto the road and informal toll booths are manned by gangs of teenagers demanding money from cars that approach them.

"We need the money to buy petrol so that we can burn things," said one of the teenagers.

The protests in Standerton have entered a fourth day with residents frustrated by what they say is poor service delivery and a lack of responsiveness from councillors.

A resident said he was stopped from going to work by angry protesters. He had to pretend to be one of them until they dispersed.

On Tuesday, protesters were standing in the main street of the township as early as 4.30am stopping people on their way to work.

Around 8am they converged to the Sakhile stadium to get a response to their grievances from the municipality, said the resident.

But no one from the Lekwa Municipality came to speak to them. - Sapa


Pressure on Zuma
The six-month-old government of Jacob Zuma, the country's president, is under pressure to deliver on campaign promises and improve basic services such as water and electricity in South Africa.
Zuma has promised to ease inequalities in the country, but he has said the government has fallen short in meeting demands for better basic services.

His government has set up a special hotline to deal with complaints, but a spokesman for the president says he will not meet protesters.

But Sipho Seepe, a political columnist writing with the Mail and Guardian newspaper, said the people are not angry at Zuma.

"They are angry at the local officials," Sepe told Al Jazeera.

"So we must not give the impression that this is a revolt against the government of Jacob Zuma.

'Heightened expectations'

"What we have are more heightened expectations that came as a result of the last elections that we had.  The protests are taking place at the local level," Sepe said.

"What the people see is that the local government officials represent the past regime, a regime that was arrogant and aloof. They do not see these leaders at the local level as part of the new regime."

However, Hassan Isilow, a journalist in Cape Town, said Zuma should not have made such promises for easing the economic inequalities in the country.

"Regrettably the president has not delivered on any of these promises," Isilow told Al Jazeera.

"The problem is the country is grappling with a recession, but the local people want a better living condition regardless of the economic situation of the country," he said.

"People have argued that the country has a lot of resources ... but there's a high level of corruption within the ruling ANC where top officials within the government and the municipalities have misappropriated funds.

"The local people believe that, had it not been for corruption, then service delivery would not have been a problem."



A surefire way to improve service delivery is to burn down the municipal offices and sap police resources.

Have a look how many of these are students who should be studying and trying to educate themselves and lift themselves out of poverty.

Its ironic that the people who do all the destruction are also those people who contribute nothing to the South African economy.

Having said that - flash points like this are a big concern for the country and need to be quelled quickly because as we saw with the Xenophobia riots these spread quickly.

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