Residents threaten to intensify protests

Irate residents of  Thembelihle informal settlement in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg yesterday warned to intensify their protest action, should their demands not be met in three days.

Angry and frustrated residents yesterday marched to the local municipal offices, demanding service delivery.

They also marched on the Koogan Plastic factory, which deals with recycling and engineering.

Residents accused the company of exploiting its employees by paying them “peanuts”.

On top of their service delivery demands, residents said they have been staying in the informal settlement for many years, with no electricity.

“We get very cold during the winter season.

“Enough is enough, we demand electricity and the development of our area which has about 7 000 households,” community leader Getto Gopane told The Citizen yesterday.

He said: “The community has been waiting patiently for years now for our area to be developed, and despite our cries nothing has been forthcoming.

“If our demands are not met in the next three days, we will  definitely intensify our protest action.”

Speaking on behalf of workers and former employees at Koogan, Nomusa Dlamini took a swipe at Koogan, accusing the company of underpaying its staff.
Employee demands include that all workers must be afforded the right to join any labour union of their choice, and that Koogan as well as other factories in surrounding areas comply with the provisions for overtime pay as set out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

The peaceful march ended just after 11am yesterday.

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