Written By: Aphiwe Given Bunjwa
The Sterkspruit Civic Association (SCA) has informed Senqu Municipality in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape that it wants Home affairs offices to be re-opened.
This after the municipality closed down Home affairs in Sterkspruit and opened the offices in Aliwal North- a few kilometres from the small town. As thousands across the country celebrated Mandela Day, the SCA instead shutdown the entire town to announce a strike to bring back Home affairs offices in Sterkspruit.
Reports indicate that the town made national headlines when the municipal protest broke out in 2013. The people wanted a standalone municipality and still do. The report further noted that talks with authorities went nowhere, property was damaged and the town was shutdown.
According to the report by Linda Fekisi, the government had said that officials managed to stabilise the situation and the national election went ahead. Sterkspruit is made up of 88 villages, holds the largest population within the Senqu Municipality.
Mcebisi Mgojo Chairperson of the organisation said that he was dissatisfied that councillors were not there, although people of Sterkspruit gathered from different villages.
“I thought we would see their big cars parked here, but only the people of Sterkspruit came. The people that have pains, the people that are poor and the people that service cannot reach.” He said.
He concluded saying: “Today it is a start, if there are no changes, this shutdown will roll onward. I am saying that we will do more than what we did in 2013,” Mr Mgojo acknowledged the crowd that had gathered on the day.
The SCA called on all businesses, pastors and taxi stakeholders to cooperate with them, “We are asking for the last time, anyone who stands on our way, the wheel will squash them. People should know that when they are celebrating the birthday of Nelson Mandela, in Sterkspruit we are crying.” Mr Mgojo said.
SCA says another total shutdown is to commerce on Monday the 24th July.