14 arrests after Kwa-Thema protests

The Ekhuruleni Municipality calls on community to exercise patience.

Angry residents protested that they no longer receive free electricity in Kwa-Thema.

SPRINGS - Police on Wednesday were forced to fire rubber bullets at protesters in Kwa-Thema on the East Rand.

Angry residents were protesting for their discounted electricity rates.

The Ekhuruleni Municipality said it had not finalised any changes to the electricity pricing structure and called on the community to exercise patience until the decisions were made next week.

Wednesday's protests saw the arrest of 14 people.

Objections around the cost of electricity turned violent when foreigners' shops were looted and a municipal building vandalised.

Residents were angry because they were told they will have to pay the full cost for electricity from June, when previously they had received discounted rates.

Residents used to receive 100 free units of electricity, but from next month they will be forced to pay the full rate.

However, the Ekhuruleni municipality said it has not finalised any changes to the pricing structure and the final decision will be made by next week.

"We have listened to what people have said, council is busy consolidating everything and we are going to be delivering the budget speech soon" said the municipality's Zweli Dlamini.