Protesting Durban residents say they are living in tins

2013-06-13 11:27

About 200 people were protesting on Alpine Road in Durban this morning, eThekwini metro police said.

The protesters were burning rubbish and tyres, spokesperson Eugene Msomi said.

It was believed the protest was about service delivery.

Nabantu Zulu, a resident of the Jadhu Place squatter camp which borders Alpine Road, said residents had been protesting since 3.30am.

Zulu said he had been a resident at the squatter camp since 1991.

Residents were demanding to speak to eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo and would not stop blocking Alpine Road until their demands had been addressed.

“We are living in tins. They (eThekwini metro) gave us these as temporary (accommodation), but how long must we wait?” asked Zulu.

He said residents were demanding land, housing, electricity, water, and speed humps on Alpine Road.

The Jadhu Place squatter camp is believed to have between 1 000 and 2 000 residents.

Alpine Road is a major road linking the suburb of Overport with the Springfield industrial area.

Protesters, carrying bottles and vuvuzelas, were singing, dancing and chanting on a hill overlooking Alpine Road.

About 3km of Alpine Road was closed.

“We demand housing, electricity, and land,” stated a placard.

The protesters claim they were promised housing in 2007 by a former eThekwini mayor and they had been forgotten.

One of the protesters, a woman, was lying in the street waiting for paramedics after she collapsed during the protest.

The SA Police Service and the metro police were monitoring the protest.

Police had to use teargas at various stages to disperse the group.

Alpine Road was littered with debris, bricks, tyres, and a tree.

Residents of Overport were looking nervously at the protesters from their houses.

Employees of Durban Solid Waste were waiting to clear the road.

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