A group consisting of about 150 highly upset protesters, mainly from the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises sector in the town, gathered at the Jauka Hall in Port Alfred on Wednesday before marching to the Office of the Municipal Manager, Rolly Dumezweni, in Port Alfred.
On not finding Dumezweni there, the placard-carrying group set off for the Town Hall where they handed a petition to the Speaker of the Ndlambe Town Council, Vivienne Maphaphu, and the Chief Whip of the African National Congrees, Councillor Andile Marasi.
The protestors made it clear that they did not represent a specific political party but that they were ordinary members of the community.
They also said that although the number of today’s protestors was small that it will grow if their demands were not addressed. “We will come back here with enough to fill this whole parking lot,” a spokesman said.
The protest stems from the appointment of a contractor to pave Dickinson Road in Port Alfred as he operates from Kenton on Sea.
“Why must someone from outside be appointed in Port Alfred when we have so many people here without jobs?” a spokesperson said.
The anger rose dramatically when Maphaphu told them that she will respond to the demands of the group within seven working days.
Shouts of “Phansi” and “Hayi” followed from the group. “We are waiting for more than a month for an answer to our last demands, we need a response now!” one protestor said.
The group was also unhappy about the way that the database for the allocation is manipulated and how casual workers were appointed by the municipality.
Earlier in the day, some protesters set some tyres and other rubble including old mattresses alight in Dickinson Road and by eleven o’clock wafts of smoke was still visible from the ashes.
The group dispersed after their leaders agreed to hold Maphaphu to her promise to provide a response within seven working days.