Unrest erupting across FState – Patricia Kopane

DA PL says SAMWU protestors threw stones at passing cars and burned tyres in Mangaung today

Unrest erupting across the Free State due to ANC’s factionalism & failure in governance

This week the Free State saw several protests erupt in the Mafube Local Municipality and in the Mangaung Metro.

In Mafube, the community has endured more than seven years of ANC poor governance leaving several communities without access to water and other basic services. Here even municipal workers have regularly not received their salaries in full and on time, and neither has the council paid over the medical aid and pension fund contributions of employees. Such is the level of frustration in Mafube that protestors torched the ANC’s constituency office in Cornelia.

In Mangaung we have witnessed several protests by municipal workers that have seen the metro’s administrative offices (Glaspaleis) trashed due to salary disputes. Today, traffic has been disrupted as protestors threw stones at passing cars and burned tyres. It is alleged that protestors even set a municipal sub-contractor’s truck alight.

It is important to note that these protests are led by the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), a close alliance partner of the ANC. Basically this is nothing but the ANC protesting against the ANC.

Other communities in the Masilonyana Local Municipality and the Kopanong Local Municipality have no access to water and in both municipalities basic service delivery is almost non-existent. This is a volatile situation waiting to erupt as people become more desperate at each passing day.

It is believed that unrest in the Free State will continue to erupt as the ANC moves closer to their elective conferences this year. We are set to see how various ANC factions deployed to municipal governments and provincial departments abuse their incumbency to serve factional party political interests at the expense of the people of the Free State. This is the result of the ANC’s cadre deployment policy.

In no uncertain terms, it is the poor governance of the ANC at provincial and local level, compounded by ANC factional interests, that will fuel further unrest in the province. It is important to note that it is but a selfish minority, with self-serving interests, who are battling over access to state resources and control of patronage networks, who fuel instability, at the expense of the majority.

Protests and the breakdown of basic service delivery further scare off investors in an already regressive economic climate.

The DA in the Free State calls on Freestaters to reject violence and to join the DA in working towards change in 2019 that will bring clean and responsive governance to the province. The majority of people in the Free State are law-abiding citizens who want nothing more than effective governance that would deliver quality basic services, attract investment, grow the economy and create jobs. The DA in government, as is evident in the Western Cape, and more and more in the metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay, brings about the change that is necessary to see all South Africans prosper.

The DA is ready to bring that change to the Free State.

Statement issued by Patricia Kopane MP, DA Free State Leader, 19 May 2017