Wed. Jul 24th, 2019

2019 elections special vote: Durban ramps up law enforcement amid protest tensions

taxi accidentA big test for the Durban provincial government.

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Monday will prove to be a big test for law enforcement in Durban when South Africans, who applied for the 2019 elections special vote, line up outside the designated centres to cast their ballot.

As reported by EWN, the provincial government has deployed large groups of the eThekwini Metro Police to designated voting stations to ensure that the special vote process proceeds without any disturbances.

2019 elections special vote: Heavy police presence in Durban

This precautionary measure is forced by the recent events that are linked to the unrest that has encapsulated the eThekwini Municipality’s department of water and sanitation (DWS).

ReadElections 2019: Special voting starts today, here’s what you need to know

Shortly after the torrential rain that caused the deadly flash floods receded, workers from the DWS took to the streets to protest against the perceived nepotism that has apparently seen uMkhonto Wesizwe veterans getting preference for exorbitant salary increases over others.

After numerous failed engagements with the disgruntled workers, tensions have remained palpable in the city.

“Reservoir collapse not linked to protests” – SAPS

The water reservoir that suspiciously collapsed on Saturday, costing the City at least R4-million in damages, has been closely linked to the ongoing protests.

City Manager, Sipho Nzuza, was the first to link the suspicious collapse to the ongoing protests.

“We have [a] strong suspicion that it is related to the illegal industrial action that is underway in our municipality,” he said in a statement.

ReadRamaphosa “certain” of ANC win ahead of South Africa’s elections

Interestingly, Nzuza later retracted the statement, refusing to reveal the cause of the damage to the water supply base that affected thousands of residents.

Although it has been argued that the collapse of the reservoir could have been due to defects in its infrastructure, the provincial government has taken no chances in leaving voters vulnerable at voting stations, particularly the Durban City Hall, which is at the epicentre of these wage protests.

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