Residents shut down town over power cuts

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Homeward-bound holidaymakers have found themselves victimised and trapped in the middle of an acrid fight between the community and the municipality in Aliwal North.

Traffic in Aliwal North on 3 January 2018 as residents protest the newly amalgamated Walter Sisulu municipality which has failed to settle a R141-million Eskom bill. Image: Aliwal North‏ @AliwalNorth Follow Follow @AliwalNorth

In a disaster for Eastern Cape tourism‚ which relies heavily on festive season visitors from the north‚ protesters from Aliwal North have played cat-and-mouse with the authorities for the last three weeks.

Traffic snaked for 6km at Aliwal North on Wednesday.

Members of the community have been blockading the critical N6‚ and despite being chased off and the road cleared‚ they have returned to cause havoc for perplexed travellers.

Pictures on social media show cars jammed up along the N6 and lined up across the famous Hertzog Bridge over the Orange River‚ which marks the boundary between the Eastern Cape and the Free State at Aliwal North.

Authorities said the trouble on the N6 was expected to continue this week.

At the centre of the row is the failure of the newly amalgamated Walter Sisulu municipality to settle its R141-million bill with Eskom‚ which has been turning Aliwal North and Steynsburg’s power on and off every day since mid-December.

Daily Dispatch https//www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2018/01/04/thousands-trapped-n6/

By: Asanda Nini

Source: TMG Digital.

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