Helenvale electricity protest

DARK streets, homes and alleys in Helenvale in Port Elizabeth's northern areas saw fed-up women from the neighbourhood picket in Stanford Road yesterday.

Angry at the municipality for not fixing broken street lamps and electricity cables for more than a year, they threatened to burn tyres and stone cars if repairs were not done immediately.

In a memorandum scheduled to have been handed over to a municipal official – who failed to arrive at the picketing venue at noon yesterday as agreed – the women highlighted their grievances.

Among these were that they lived in fear as the dark streets, homes and alleys had become breeding places for crime.

Residents said many had been robbed, raped and killed at night and in the early morning over the last year in dark areas.

For Rina Potgieter from Hartebees Street, the municipality's non-compliance shows that the needs of people in Helenvale are not a priority to city bosses.

"We understand there was a council meeting [yesterday] but the agreement was that they would send an official to collect the memorandum at noon.

"We are not only disappointed that we wasted our time, but disgusted at how our safety is being compromised because the municipality is not doing its work." - Alvené du Plessis

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