Bronkhorstspruit protest spreads

Locals form Zithobeni, Rethabiseng and Nkangala say they don’t want to be a part of the council.

The Rethabiseng Clinic which was set on fire by angry residents, 5 February 2014. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT - A service delivery protest near Bronkhorstspruit has now spread to three major townships.

Residents are calling for their areas to be removed from the boundaries of the City of Tshwane.

Demonstrators claim their townships were "sold" to Tshwane by President Jacob Zuma and say they are paying disproportionate tariffs.

The residents of the Zithobeni, Rethabiseng and Nkangala townships say they no longer want to be a part of the municipality because local government doesn't care about them or their needs.

Instead, they want their areas to be incorporated into the Motsweding municipality in Mpumalanga.

They claim they're being billed exorbitant amounts for water, electricity and services.

Many say they've gone without these services for almost a month.

Residents also say a promise to deliver them title deeds for their homes was not followed and a local mall supposed to create jobs for them was never built.

During previous demonstrations in the area, locals torched a police station, clinic and a community hall.

Until Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa has personally met with them, locals say they'll continue to torch state property on a daily basis.

At least 30 people were arrested in Zithobeni on Tuesday.

Residents are expected to meet with government officials at 4pm, but say they do not want to be addressed by "puppets."