Tembisa residents say community protest could have been prevented

Four people died during disruptions sparked by service delivery protests earlier in the week.

FILE: Some Tembisa residents at the Mehlareng Stadium for Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell's address on 5 August 2022. Picture: Nokukhanya Mntambo/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Residents in Tembisa said the deadly aftermath of the community protest could have been prevented.

Four people died during disruptions sparked by service delivery protests earlier in the week. The disruptions also left a trail of destruction including damage to municipal buildings, roads and cars.

Ekurhuleni mayor, Tania Campbell met with the community at the Mehlareng Stadium on Friday morning.

Residents agreed to give Campbell and her mayoral committee some time to effect the commitments made during Friday's address. It's a long list of commitments including attending to water and electricity billing issues, tariff hikes, historical debt and illegal dumping.

Campbell also vowed to relook the indigent policy so it's better equipped to cater to the needs of the poor in the community.

Some of the mayor's responses were met by cheers, while others triggered a heckling response.

While the residents walked away satisfied with Campbell's response, community leaders criticised her slowed response to the crisis.

"If she had come and addressed the people on time like she did today. See there is no protest, people have left here in peace so the proactiveness of the mayor was going to curb everything," said a spokesperson for the Tembisa Community Forum, Xolani Mnisi.

Mnisi added the forum would keep a close watch on improvements in the community.