Municipal vehicles set alight in Soshanguve protest

Adam Wakefield, News24

Johannesburg - Five municipal vehicles and a guardroom have been burnt at the Soshanguve municipal offices north of Pretoria on Thursday morning, Gauteng police said.

"Police are on the scene. We were called around 08:00," said spokesperson Captain Matthews Nkoadi.

"There was public violence taking place. People in Block F were burning tyres and barricading roads leading to the municipal offices."

The protesters were apparently workers from the Expanded Public Works Programme who were unhappy about payments from the municipality.

"At the offices, windows of a number of buildings were smashed and the windows of one Metro Police vehicle were smashed. Five municipal vehicles were burnt, including a trailer, and the guardroom was burnt down," Nkoadi said.

No arrests have been made. Police have opened a case of public violence and are investigating.
"We are still monitoring the situation and emergency services are still with us extinguishing the fires," said Mnkoadi.

In a statement issued on Sunday, MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said an investigation will to be launched into allegations of cronyism and corruption within certain Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development programmes.

Mayathula-Khoza, speaking before the Gauteng infrastructure portfolio committee at the provincial legislature on Friday, said victims claimed they were not paid regularly.

The affected programmes were the Expanded Public Works Programme, the Zivuseni Reloaded job programme and National Youth Service Programme.

Mayathula-Khoza asked complainants to submit evidence and lay charges. She assured victims that they would be protected and would remain anonymous.

The Expanded Public Works Programme aims to provide temporary work opportunities to the unemployed across the province.