Kimberley will be shut down on Wednesday if Sol Plaatje’s top management don’t resign. This is the decision of the community meeting held on Sunday at the open air arena.
The meeting called on the municipal manager and the chief financial officer to resign or be suspended or face another protest march.
The march on 27 June, which was the biggest in Kimberley post 1994, has been referred to as a “romantic movie” by Pantsi Obusitse. He went on to warn the Sol Plaatje municipality that the next march scheduled for 4 July would be even bigger and will be a “horror movie” in comparison with the previous protest action. It was reported that protesters from Warrenton, Barkly West and Phokwane will join their Kimberley counterparts on Wednesday if the demand are not met.
The meeting was convened to provide feedback regarding the meeting between Sol Plaatje council and the organisers of the protest action. Tumelo Mosikare, one the organisers of the campaign reported that Sol Plaatje has succumbed to demands of the community of Kimberley as result of the successful protest march. Sol Plaatje has responded in writing that they will scrap the R 260 .00 surcharge and implement the electricity tariffs as demanded by the community, i.e. R1, 05 (0-50 units); R1, 35(51-350 units); R1, 90 (351-600) and R2, 24 (>600 units)
It was also reported that Sol Plaatje acknowledged the unlawful practice of tuck shop owners’ extra charge for electricity and has vowed to put up signs at all electricity vendors to outlaw this practice. The response from Sol Plaatje regarding the resignation of the municipal manager (Goolam Akhawary) and the Chief Financial Officer (Lydia Mahloko) was not as positive as the community expected. Apparently, the Executive Mayor, Mangaliso Matika, told the organisers that the municipality must follow the laws and policies and can only suspend officials if any wrongdoing can be proved by evidence.
The community members also called on Matika to resign as well if he cannot ensure the removal of the two top officials.