Watch: KZN rioters torch Izingolweni municipal building [video]
Embers of the Izingolweni municipal building permeated across the skies of the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), on Tuesday evening.
KZN protests: Tensions rise in south coast KZN
Residents from Izingolweni, Shobeni and Umtentweni gathered in numbers in the wee hours of Tuesday to shut down the south coast city.
Roads were barricaded with burning tyres and rubble and in some cases, passers-by were intimidated. The N2 highway that connects Umtentweni to Hibberdene was also blocked off, a clear message from protesters that, “enough is enough.”
Details around the chaos that befell the KZN region are still trickling in and comments from police had not been received at the time this article was published.
Watch: Izingolweni municipal building targeted by rioters
However, according to reports, at least three suspects were arrested for public violence and arson after three trucks were torched during the day’s picketing.
More violence was witnessed on Tuesday evening. After public order police failed to de-escalate tensions in the town, a number of unknown rioters targeted the Izingolweni municipal building, torching a guard room and a tractor.
At this time, a leader of the protests has not been identified. But, from our understanding, much of the unrest is the culmination of poor service delivery and a lack of open communication.
Why are Ugu district residents protesting?
Residents of the Ugu South Coast district have, for a long time, raised concerns with water shortages in the region. According to spokesperson Simon April, the municipality’s hands are tied in meeting the residents’ demands.
“It is unfortunate that it has gone this far. Some areas have not had water for more than two weeks. Other areas have water for one week than other weeks they don’t.
“Ugu has committed to providing water tankers, however, the communities indicated they want long term solutions to be implemented now,” he said.
The municipality has yet to address the disgruntled residents. On Wednesday morning, not much activity was seen in the district. However, police have maintained a heavy presence in case things get out of hand.