In response to ongoing difficulties and unresolved concerns, the Diepsloot community is urging President Cyril Ramaphosa to personally visit their area and actively address their demands. They have vowed to intensify and prolong their protests until Ramaphosa agrees to their request.

By Lezeth Khoza

Despite the arrest of three prominent figures within their ranks and the government’s perceived indifference, the residents of Diepsloot continue to demonstrate unwavering determination in their quest for an end to criminal activities and improved service delivery.

This community has been engaged in sustained protests for an extended period of almost a month. Jack Hlongwane, Loyiso Toyiya, and Lefa Nkala were each granted bail of R500 by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court. The three are facing charges related to public violence and are scheduled to appear in court again on August 17.

The community, frustrated with ongoing challenges and unaddressed concerns, is urging President Cyril Ramaphosa to visit their area and listen to their demands firsthand. They have expressed their commitment to intensify and prolong their protests until Ramaphosa visits them.

Nkala, fresh from the detention cells, stated that no one will prevent them from protesting. As a condition of their bail, Nkala and his co-accused are prohibited from engaging in any acts of public protest until the conclusion of their case.

Toyiya, speaking to a crowd outside the court, confidently stated that they had never engaged in any violent actions. Instead, they simply requested the president and his ministers to acknowledge their concerns.

“Our call was to fight crime; we never killed anyone. We are not murderers, we are not criminals. All we wanted was to engage with ministers so we can find a permanent solution to dealing with crime in Diepsloot. That is all we were arrested for,” he said.

The protests in the area are primarily driven by what is perceived as an intransigent government, which has repeatedly failed to meet the deadlines set by the Diepsloot Community Forum. The community, including religious leaders, strongly insists on a meeting with the president to address the pressing issues affecting Diepsloot.

Global Peace Index

According to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report, South Africa’s level of peace has decreased compared to the previous year, resulting in a drop of eight places in the rankings. Currently, the country is positioned at 130 out of 163 nations, indicating a significant concern for safety and security.

The country has been grappling with delivery challenges for a long time. As highlighted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), this issue primarily stems from the insufficient resources available to municipalities nationwide. Regrettably, inadequate service delivery frequently infringes upon basic human rights, as certain communities lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities.

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has underscored the challenges faced by municipalities in delivering essential services to communities. These challenges stem from financial limitations, insufficient infrastructure, and a scarcity of resources necessary to fulfil their obligations to the broader public.

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