Did today’s protest action make things better or worse? The Newcastillian asks residents…

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In the quest to address issues pertinent to Newcastle, the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) and certain members of the community initially called for a shutdown of town for today, January 23.

The focus points highlighted in SANCO’s memorandum revolved around a number of issues in town, which includes failing infrastructure, loadshedding, the state of cleanliness of Newcastle, as well as the dismissal of 213 municipal employees.

However, following a meeting with Newcastle Business and Residents Forum (NBRF), it was decided that there would be no shutdown of Newcastle. It was decided that only the roads from Madadeni and Osizweni would be blocked and schools would be able to run as per usual.

However, stores were looted in Osizweni and tyres burned on Boundary Road, Lennoxton. Several schools also closed early, fearing the protest action would escalate in town.

While the protest action was aimed at raising concerns about municipal issues, did it really help the community? Or did impact the town negatively?

The Newcastillian asks residents what their thoughts are, and this is what they have to say.

Aline Rosette

“On the one hand, it makes matters much worse. People become afraid to go to work or shopping; because they worry about the protest taking a turn for the worse. However, on the other hand, the municipality is being forced to listen to the residents.”

Thinus Laatz

“It makes things worse, as businesses are losing business now. With the tight economy we are already facing, businesses are already struggling to keep their doors open. I feel there are better ways to address the issues.”

Siyanda Zwane and Ngcebo Mlangeni

“We feel it affects local stores and businesses negatively. The protest should be taken to the authorities’ doorstep and not focus on shutting down the town.”

Sakhile Gumede

“The issue with the protest is that there is a lot of in-house fighting with certain political parties. So, you do not know whether this protest was started by a faction within a political party or by the residents. Either way, I feel it affects the economy as there are a number of stores being looted. Because of the looting, some businesses might have to close their doors and retrench people.”

With residents airing their views, what are your thoughts? Has the protest action done some form of good? Or has it had a negative impact on the town? Share your views with us in the comment section below.

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One thought on “Did today’s protest action make things better or worse? The Newcastillian asks residents…

  • 24th Jan 2020 at 5:07 am
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    I live in the United States and will be relocating to your area to be with my fiance. I recently subscribed to this page and several other local Facebook pages to get more familiar with the area. I read about the protest on your site the previous day and then the day of the protests my fiance informed me of the rioting. Unfortunately, it affected my fiances business as he was forced to close early and send employees home. Seeing this from an outsiders perspective it made me think that maybe your area isn’t quite as safe and inviting as I previously thought. This makes me think that maybe my fiance should join me here in the United States instead of me relocating to your town. I think any tourists might be more cautious to even visit your area due to this incident. Maybe it could have been handled differently by the local government. They need to reach out to the community and openly communicate with everyone to resolve issues, instead of letting them escalate into further incidents.

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