Protest turns violent

Angry residents at Ngodini near White River and surrounding villages threw stones at passing motorists, burnt tyres and blockaded the streets in protest against irregular water supplies.

Police had a tough time trying to disperse the angry crowd and two protesters were arrested for public violence but released later.

A community member, Joseph Nkosi, told The New Age that their water supply was disrupted for four months.

“Water is a source of life, as we all know. We fail to understand how the authorities think we can live without water. Water in this area comes once a month if we are lucky, so we are very tired and angry about the situation,” said Nkosi. The protest caused traffic problems, affecting travel to Nelspruit, White River, Hazyview and other places.

Police had managed to calm the situation by midday and the Mbombela municipality, which services the area, announced through the local radio station that water tankers would be dispatched before the end of the day.

“The question is, why did we have to go to war before we could be given water? This is why I did not even bother to vote,” said a resident, Charlotte Mnisi.

The spokesperson for Mbombela municipality, Joseph Ngala, admitted there had been water shortages “from time to time”.


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