PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - The N2 at Plettenberg Bay between Shell Ultra City and Kwanokuthula remains closed.
Safety remains a major issue due to sporadic stone throwing.
Traffic is still being rerouted from both directions on the N2.
The following information was released by Bitou Municipality:
It is prudent to briefly reflect on the issues and/or demands from Qolweni:
A petition from Qolweni on 18 June mainly focused on housing and poor service delivery; and included:
1. Slow pace on housing project 169 (Minnaar land development)
2. People who have houses renting them out and staying in shacks
3. People who stay in houses and renting shacks out
4. High unemployment rate and lack of job creation
5. Tenders awarded to same SMME's year on year
6. The non-existent Sport and Youth Development
7. Demand for the resignation of the ward 3 councillor, Mr. Xola Matyila. This demand is new; was only raised this morning and did not form part of the 18 June petition.
The mayor responded in writing and in person at a community meeting on 25 June, which did not satisfy the community and a new 7-day deadline was issued, which expired yesterday, 2 July. Rather than further engagement, the protest and public unrest started last night.
Bitou is not aware of any reason in law or a transgression of the Code of Conduct for councillors, that necessitates the removal of Mr. Matyila as councillor. Therefore the demand is something for the ANC, the political party which the councillor represent, to consider and pronounce on the matter.
Last night, Bitou Public Safety responded to the incident first. This was followed by deployment of Public order police, crowd management and visible police unit of SAPS. These resources has been on the scene since last night. The management of the incident is also supported by provincial traffic.
SAPS had to use stun grenades, rubber bullets and teargas throughout the day to disperse protesters as part of the crowd management measures. It has to be safely assumed that SAPS will investigate the protest and all actions during the protest with the view to arrests if crime has been committed. Criminal behaviour has to be separated from justified and legitimate demands from communities and protests. The right to peaceful protest within the ambit of all applicable laws is obviously recognized and duly observed by Bitou.
SAPS has facilitated a meeting between Bitou political office-bearers, the MM and executive management team, and the leaders of the protest. This meeting will start shortly in the Council Chambers; chaired by the Executive Mayor, councillor Msimbothi Lobese. A delegation of 7 protest leaders from Qolweni and New Horizons are in attendance as well. SAPS has been invited as observers at the meeting by both parties.
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