You have the right to express yourself, and protest all you like. Freedom at times means you’re free to be dumb, torch All the useful facilities, Gauteng government however, won’t replace any of the infrastructures destroyed during protests.
This is according to the province’s Premier David Makhura. He warns that the government will not rebuild or replace any infrastructure destroyed or burnt during community protests. Please note, the emphasis is on ‘will not’. Remember this the next time you’ll be embarking on a community protest.
Citing the properties destroyed at the Vaal University of Technology, following students’ demand for the removal of a private security company from the campus, Makhura called on communities to work with government in protecting the infrastructure availed to them.
He highlighted that it is now a common practice to destroy properties, and burn down schools and clinics during community protests over poor service delivery by government.
Speaking, Makhura said;
“…I said that yesterday in Finetown where there was a protest and they burnt down the clinic. We are not going to come and replace schools or libraries or clinics burnt down,”
“On Thursday, they were saying to me, we are now suffering, the next clinic is very far. And I said to them you have to tell me who burnt down that clinic. Because you are not our priority anymore, you have destroyed your own infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, cabinet said the full might of the law will be applied to those found guilty and responsible for the infrastructures destroyed during protests.
Acting Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said there can be no valid reason to justify the senseless destruction of critical public infrastructure such as schools.
“Those residents who are found guilty of burning our public facilities will face the full might of the law. This destruction of educational infrastructure disadvantages our children and undermines the country’s effort to provide quality education.”