Hijacking South Africa

Photo: Pixabay

Mpumalanga residents in uproar over road infrastructure

After two years of broken promises, residents from Bushbuckridge have had enough.

Hijacking South Africa

Photo: Pixabay

Visitors to the Kruger National Park would have been affected by a protest that has started up in the surrounding areas.

The protest is being led by residents from the nearby Bushbuckridge area in Mpumalanga. The protestors are unhappy as they claim that they have been promised a road linking Belfast and the other local villages.

As part of the protest, the resident took to the roads and barricaded stretches of the road using tree branches and other debris, as reported by SABC News.

According to the protestors, the proposed 20km stretch of road was promised to the residents in 2019. Despite the promises and their attempts to meet with local authorities, they have been frustrated by the fact that to date nothing has been done.

The protestors are demanding a meeting with the MEC for Public Works, Road and Transport. They claim that they were promised that construction of the linking road would start at the beginning of this year.

“Now, it’s March nothing happened. Last week, we were with the mayor. The mayor promised to refer the matter to the MEC. Last Friday, nothing happened. Now, we are waiting for the MEC. We are protesting for service delivery; not politics,” said Johannes Ndlovu, one of the protest leaders.

The protests have had a knock-on effect on visitors as well as contractors at the Kruger National Park. Contractors’ work has been affected by the blocked roads in the area which will ultimately lead to costly delays.

“This thing is making a big problem because we have a deadline time to finish the work and from last week, it happened the same and now we have small time to finish the work this thing is not good. I feel the government and the police must come here and their job,” said Martin Oosthuzien, a contractor at the Kruger National Park.

The protestors have no intention of ending their protest until their demands have been met and construction on the linking road is confirmed.

The MEC was not on-site today to speak to the protestors but it’s believed that someone from his office did meet with the disgruntled residents. The MEC will reportedly meet with the protestors tomorrow to discuss their demands and try and calm the growing tensions in the area.