Rubber bullets fly as police reel in QwaQwa protests over water crisis

Rubber bullets fly as police reel in QwaQwa protests over water crisis

- Residents from QwaQwa, Kestell and Harrismith took to the streets in protest over poor service delivery

- Protesters demanded a reliable water supply in the regions, with police using rubber bullets in retaliation to a situation that quickly escalated

- President Cyril Ramaphosa recently told Mzansi that service delivery is going to be a key focus moving forward

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Protests in the Free State saw residents from QwaQwa, Kestell and Harrismith taking to the streets in anger.

The authorities quickly stepped in after a municipal vehicle was set on fire, shops looted and roads barricaded with debris.

The riled citizens were demanding a reliable water supply, with police later arresting 34 protesters for public violence.

SABC reports that the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality had condemned damage done to water trucks that were stoned by residents.

The municipality pointed out that similar actions would only serve to worsen the dire water crisis in the region.

READ ALSO: President Cyril Ramaphosa denies South Africa is a dysfunctional state

Protestors called for the municipality's leader to resign, vowing to take drastic action if their demands went ignored.

The community has issued threats to render the region ungovernable until the water crisis comes to an end. reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had noted the lack of service delivery during walkabouts during the ANC's 108th birthday celebrations.

In his first letter to the nation for the year, Ramaphosa highlighted the importance of building a 'capable state':

"It was disheartening to see that, despite progress in many areas, there were several glaring instances of service delivery failures. Many of the places we visited struggle to provide social infrastructure and services simply because they have such a small revenue base. But, in some cases, elected officials and public servants have neglected their responsibilities. A common feature in most of these towns, which is evident throughout all spheres of government, is that the state often lacks the necessary capacity to adequately meet people’s needs."

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