The situation in the Pietermaritzburg CBD has normalised after intense protesting on Wednesday.
More than 150 people living at the East Street hostel in Masukwana Street used burning tyres to close off the road from about 05:00, continuing protests that sparked on Tuesday night.
They protested after the Msunduzi Municipality disconnected the hostel’s water and electricity on Tuesday, because the KZN Department of Human Settlements owed about R200 000 in utilities.
Masukwana Street in the CBD remained closed for hours amid a heavy police presence.
The road was reopened after Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo ordered City staff to reconnect electricity and water at the hostel.
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Community members met Njilo and representatives from the KZN Department of Human Settlements, and the department explained that the bills weren’t paid because of administrative problems on their end.
They gave an undertaking to make good on some R200 000 in unpaid bills.