Emeute à Meyerton en Afrique du Sud – mars 2010

South African Police Fire Rubber Bullets on Violent Protestors

businessweek.com

March 03, 2010

By Franz Wild and Mike Cohen

March 3 (Bloomberg) — South African police fired rubber bullets at more than 300 protesters in the central town of Meyerton today, after officials impounded their furniture because they failed to pay local fees for services.

Police managed to disperse the protesters, who set up barricades of rocks and burning tires, from the main road linking Meyerton to Johannesburg, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) to the north, police spokesman Tikoane Sonopo said. Johan le Roux Road, the western exit route, remains blocked, he said.

“The community is aggressive,” Sonopo said by phone today. “They are throwing stones at the police. The police are still there fighting.”

The riot started after government officials confiscated the property of people who didn’t pay fees for services such as road maintenance, water, and sewage known as municipal rates. Protests over what residents say are poor public services have rocked at least six other South African communities this year.

“People are raising genuine legitimate issues,” Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka told reporters in Cape Town today. “Their anger has been boiling up. We will be presenting a plan on how to curb these violent protests” at a meeting tomorrow.

Last year, 870,000 workers lost their jobs in South Africa’s first recession in 17 years, pushing the jobless rate to 24.3 percent, the highest of 62 countries tracked by Bloomberg.

Unemployment Rate

President Jacob Zuma, who took office in May after the ruling African National Congress won its fourth consecutive election, promised to cut the unemployment rate to 14 percent by 2014. The National Treasury on Feb. 17 said it is only likely to drop to 22.6 by that time.

There were 104 major protests over the delivery of services in South Africa last year, up from 27 the year before, Municipal IQ, which collates data on local government, said in a report e- mailed today from the capital, Pretoria.

South Africa’s 238 municipalities battled to collect overdue bills last year, as the first recession in 17 years eroded consumer’s ability to pay, the National Treasury said on Feb. 25. Total outstanding debt to all the municipalities amounted to 56.3 billion rand ($7.4 billion) at the end of 2009.

Meyerton residents barricade road

timeslive.co.za

Mar 3, 2010

Angry Meyerton residents barricaded a road with stones and burning tyres today, demanding to see municipality officials after their goods were confiscated for unpaid rates and taxes, Johannesburg police said.

Constable Tikoane Sonopo said more than 150 people vowed not to leave the Johan le Roux road until the mayor or a representative came to address them.

« They are alleging that most of their furniture was confiscated by a sheriff sent by the municipality for unpaid rates and taxes on Tuesday.

« They want it returned or somebody to tell them when it would be returned. »

No arrests had been made and the police were monitoring the situation.

Riots rage in Meyerton

Rahima Essop

3 mars 2010

Police in Meyerton are struggling to deal with a crowd throwing petrol bombs and rocks at them.

A truck carrying their possessions arrived in the area on Wednesday but had to turn around when residents began stoning it.

Earlier Midvaal Mayor Timothy Nasc said residents’ possessions would be returned after being confiscated due to nonpayment of rates.

The crowd is becoming increasingly aggressive and violent.

Nasc said demonstrators were being instigated by political forces, blaiming local ANC and Sanco members for sparking the unrest.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 4 mars 2010.

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