Protesters put the heat on Makana

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Armed with placards, protesters stood in the 33C heat outside Makana Municipality’s Finance offices in High Street Makhanda (Grahamstown) Wednesday morning 24 October 2018, encouraging passers by to sign a petition calling on Premier Phumullo Masualle to dissolve the Makana Council in terms of Section 139(1)(c) and appoint an administrator.

The call was first made in a social media campaign launched on 29 September and that by midday Thursday 11 October had seen the petition receive 5633 signatures and was growing at a rate of 100 a day. A video shared on social media showed potholed roads, illegal dumping and stray animals ended with the call to action to sign the petition calling for Section 139(1)(c) administration, and to divert or withhold rates payments.

Speakers on the video highlight administrative, environmental and infrastructural failures in the municipality. “There have been endless talkshops over the past five years: we now need action – we are no longer standing for this,” resident Daphne Timm, who leads the campaign, says on the video.

As of Wednesday 24 October the petition had 9 500 signatures.

The protest, which began Wednesday 24 October, will continue for two weeks, 9am to 4.30pm every weekday. “This is about the town standing together,” Timm told Grocott’s Mail. “We are aiming for 40 000 signatures.”

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