Four people have been arrested for public violence in Parys in the Free State.
This after the house belonging to the family of the Ngwathe Local Municipality mayor Victoria de Beer was set alight allegedly by protesting residents.
Angry residents barricaded roads with burning tyres and rocks earlier today, protesting against water cuts in the area.
Free State police spokesperson Sergeant Sinah Mpakane says the protesters also blockaded the busy R59 stretch between Parys and Sasolburg.
“Four people have been arrested, three women and one man. The situation is a little bit calm but the POP [Public Order Policing] is still monitoring the situation because there are small groupings of people. The R59 road from Sasol to Parys has been barricaded with burning tyres and stones,” explains Mpakane.
Earlier this month, parts of Qwaqwa in the eastern Free State were left in the dark for two weeks.
This came after the substation circuit breaker gave in leaving many households and businesses without electricity.
Meanwhile, the Moqhaka Municipality in Kroonstad in the Free State says it has since applied to Eskom for an exemption, in order for strategic water infrastructure facilities to be isolated from rolling blackouts.
The facilities include the water treatment plant and water reservoirs.
On Monday, residents in Kroonstad marched to the municipality offices over rolling blackouts and lack of water supply.
The municipality’s spokesperson Dika Kheswa says they have been experiencing a number of water shortages since rolling blackouts began.
“The conditions previously was that we will be rendering the water trucks that would be delivering the water to the residents, but that mechanism seem to be not sustainable. It was costly for the municipality as we had to rent trucks. We had to purify water, we got to put water in those trucks and that water was unaccounted for. The water supply condition has immensely improved because of this exemption of the water treatment plant and strategic reservoir that are always on, even in load shedding,” explains Kheswa.
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