News / South Africa / Protests

Gopolang Moloko
1 minute read
27 Jan 2020
4:39 pm

QwaQwa shutdown leaders released as protest for water continues

Gopolang Moloko

Municipal buildings remained closed on Monday due to the ongoing protest in QwaQwa, Free State.

Community members in QwaQwa are protesting over the lack of water in the area, 20 January 2020. Image: Twitter/@@KaayShaz

Leaders of the QwaQwa shutdown who were arrested on Friday, Mphara Mphafi and Scotch Sikhosana, have been released by the Phuthaditjaba Magistrate’s Court in QwaQwa.

The pair were arrested when locals met in Phuthaditjhaba Freedom Square on Friday, following a week-long protest over taps which had been empty since December.

Regional secretary for the African Transformation Movement (ATM), Nkareng Moloi, confirmed the pair were released on Monday morning and that locals in the area were continuing with the shutdown in a protest for running water.

The shutdown is continuing as locals feel the government is promising trucks with water, while they demand running water from their taps.

Although the strike was not intense, locals were steadfast on having their demands met.

Moloi told the Citizen that a meeting was under way at Freedom Square, where locals would deliberate on a way forward.

He did, however, indicate that the protest would continue. Last week, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said government would intervene by sending 5,000 water tanks to be distributed to households within seven days.

An amount of R220 million had also been allocated to address the issue. While the minister promised water tankers, locals argued they demanded running water, Moloi argued.

Municipal buildings, such as home affairs, and local clinics remained closed on Monday as a result of the ongoing protest. Last week, locals demanded executive mayor Masetjhaba Mosia-Lakaje step down, arguing that the mayor had done nothing to improve the current situation.

Local children have not been able to attend school due to the ongoing uproar over water.

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