The Chief Whip of Cllr Jongizizwe Dlabathi held an urgent public meeting at Ndaba Tree in KwaThema on the 15th of July 2021 (Thursday). This came after various areas were looted during the cause of the week, especially in KZN and Gauteng.
The meeting was attended by different stakeholders but not limited to faith-based leaders, EMPDS, CPF, Committees, ward councillors and so forth. Dlabathi mentioned how the disruption has affected the township economy, public infrastructure and increased unemployment. The matter extends further as most households cannot access basic necessities such as bread and milk because most businesses are vandalised and closed.
Chief Whip Dlabathi addressed the general public, saying, “There is no political justice for looting, chaos and criminal activities within our country. Law needs to be separated from other issues so that there is law and order within our country and for peace and harmony to prevail. We are aware of the challenges that our society is facing, however, there is no justification for now. We are aware of the issue of unemployment, especially for young people. There’s an issue of a high uncontrollable supply of drugs within KwaThema and crime is also increasing. Perhaps people are looting these items and selling them so that they can buy drugs. We need to claim back our township economy. Let us prioritise service delivery and development in KwaThema as well as our street committees within our communities as they can be our eyes and ears. The current disruptions are not taking us anywhere and we should protect our businesses as well as our people’s jobs and those businesses which survived the looting must continue to operate. Areas that were highly affected are KwaThema Square, USave in white city and Tonk Metre.”
The community members were given a platform to voice out their concerns, and they used that platform to point out their central issues which include the high rate of unemployment, shrinking township economy, unsafeness and the skyrocketing number of hijackings and within the process they requested the government to support their community empowering programmes.
The community members also suggested that the turmoil could’ve been avoided if the meeting was held earlier on.
Shopping spots (Shoprite and Ekhaya shopping centre) that were protected in the area are operating efficiently under the surveillance of the SANDF and CPF.
By Vuyokazi Bam