Category Archives: Trust for Community Outreach and Education

More broken promises by government in Barrydale

More broken promises by government in Barrydale

Two weeks ago, about 30 households in Barrydale township, about 150km outside of Cape Town, had their water cut off and their electricity cut off. Nobody got a notification that they had a certain number of days to settle their account.

A community meeting decided to march on the municipality.

On Friday 27 February 2009 at 10am there was a peaceful march to the municipal office where they handed over a memorandum. When the municipal manager, Walter Hendricks, received the memorandum he said he had already instructed municipal officials to turn the services back on.

He said this in front of cameras and everyone.

So the community went back and waited for their water and electricity to come back on, but nothing happened.

At around 1pm they went to the offices to find out why the services had not been turned on again. They were arrested but then released later that afternoon. Municipal officials again told them that the municipal workers would not go home without turning on the community’s services. But again nothing happened.

Yesterday, Monday 2nd March, the community went back to the offices to make a follow up to find out why people were still without water. The municipal officials called in the police from as far as Montagu and Swellendam to arrest the entire group – the woman were sent to Swellendam holding cells and the men were sent to Montagu. Montagu is 65 km from Barrydale and Swellendam is 50km from Barrydale.

A community leader, Dulcie Wyngard, went to visit them in prison and to arrange a lawyer but the police refused to allow her to visit the detainees.

Nobody knows what is going to happen, if they will appear in court today or not. It is one incident but they are appearing in different courts in totally different municipalities.

For comment call Siviwe Mdoda from Trust for Community Outreach and Education on 082 3112016