Protests don't change government – Maimane

DA’s Mmusi Maimane has urged Brekkersdal residents to register to vote for the upcoming elections.

The Democratic Alliance's Premier Candidate for Gauteng Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the community of Bekkersdal which has vowed to boycott the voting registration drive to register as this is the only way they could bring change to their circumstances.

Bekkersdal residents have been calling for the municipality to be placed under administration due to poor service delivery.

On Saturday, residents protested and threw stones at Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and ANC officials and seven stations had to be temporarily closed.

The DA's Mmusi Maimane says change can only come if residents use their right to vote against the ANC led government.

"People only judge our democracy on the basis of the ANC so they feel whether they vote or not things will not change which has been the case historically. Their vote is actually the only way they can change government. That service delivery protest, as vital as that protest is, it doesn't change government, votes do."

Police are keeping a close eye on the area.

Meanwhile, Northern Cape police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property.

This follows an incident at three voters' registration points in the Kuruman area on Saturday, where four men allegedly burned down the IEC banners.

The value of the banners are estimated at about R50,000.

The IEC's registration points were then closed down.

The police's Donald Mdhluli says four people have been arrested.

"The situation is calm at the moment. Police are maintaining a strong presence. The four suspects are set to appear in court this coming week."

Registration stations will close at 5pm.

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Department says its offices across the country will remain open until 5pm.

Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor has visited various provinces this weekend to coordinate the provision of temporary IDs.

The department's Ronnie Mamoepa says, "All Home Affairs offices including mobile units were deployed across the country so that those who require departmental services for purposes of voter registration to enable them to exercise their democratic right to vote in the 2014 general elections."