Since Monday 22 October, the residents of Jama community in inland Amadiba area have been blocking the works for the building of the Mtentu giant bridge. The blockade continued today.
The people of Jama demand that Sanral keeps it promises of giving the jobs to the locals. They demand:
- The security with big guns must leave the site! The children are very scared when they go to school and local adults as well.
- The Project Liaison Committee and the Project Liaison Officer Mr Zeka Mnyamana must be changed! The PLO and PLO must be elected by the community.
- Sanral’s truck driving testing officer must leave. All experienced local drivers are failing his “tests”. Nobody knows why.
Watch video of the blockade on the Amadiba Crisis Committee’s Facebook page.
As ACC, we are in solidarity with the Jama people. Sanral must fulfil their promises of local employment!
In June, the community also blocked the works for one week for the same reason. The protests were repressed by “Zero Tolerance” from Durban. People were finally convinced to stop when there were new promises and threats against leaders.
Those new promises were broken just like everywhere else. This is Sanral on the ground, whilst feeding media with propaganda.
We attach a video from today. The police are trying to arrest people. Two arrested community members are allegedly held at the Mpisi police station.
By 10 o’clock today, the Mayor of Mbizana arrived to stop the blockade. She left by 1 p.m. when left alone by Sanral. The community also demanded Zanozuko Sigcau to show up, as he is a known N2 supporter.
Unlike the Amadiba coastal villages, people in Jama and other inland villages affected by the plans for N2 Wild Coast Toll Road have been largely in favour of the project, because of job promises.
“Our experience is that Sanral botch social engagement and makes deals with contractors that don’t want to hire locals. Local traditional leaders are bribed and communities are then divided. Don’t believe Sanral’s propaganda”.
The Mtentu mega bridge was budgeted for R375m in the 2006 Scoping Report. The cost is now estimated at R1.5-1.7bn.