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Bekkersdal residents: 'We won't vote'

The community will only head to the polls once their service delivery issues are addressed.

FILE: A boy runs from an approaching police nyala during violent service delivery protests in Bekkersdal in October. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Greater Westonaria Concerned Residents Association says it's unlikely that Bekkersdal residents will take part in this year's general elections following a violent service delivery protest at the weekend during the voter registration drive.

South Africans are due to go to the polls on 7 May.

An official proclamation of the date is, however, expected later this month.

Bekkersdal has been the site of violent service delivery protests for a number of months.

Residents are demanding the municipality be dissolved due to poor service delivery.

Hundreds of people clashed with police near the Bekkersdal taxi rank on Saturday after a private security company tried to clear the roads of barricades.

Two voter registration stations were also petrol bombed.

The first registration weekend also suffered similar disruptions.

The association's Thabang Wesi says the community will only head to the polls once the local municipality is suspended.

"We are planning to have a public meeting before the end of this week whereby the community members will be in a position of addressing this issue, but I don't think they would be in a position to go and vote until their issues are addressed."

Meanwhile, the Gauteng provincial government has assembled a high-level task team to deal with violent service delivery protests.

The province has been hit by an average of six protests a day for the past three months and one in five has turned violent.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said people are violating their right to protest.

"When people have issues let them protest and use all avenues instead of opting into violence."

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