Protesters in dark over ‘planned relocation’

2008-10-19 00:00

The planned multi-billion-rand development in the Macambini area on the north coast by the Dubai-based company Ruwaad has hit a snag.

On Saturday, residents who are unhappy with the lack of consultation on the development, shut the R66 road in protest, resulting in a four-hour stand-off with the police.

Police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd and arrested a person, who was later released. This was a second protest march against the development.

The community feel they were not consulted about the project, even though they would be required to relocate for it. It is estimated that more than 10 000 people would be affected.

In June more than 1 000 people blocked the route to the site, waiting for a group that was supposed to visit the location. The aim was to prevent them from touring the site, but the delegation apparently conducted an aerial tour.

Community spokesman Makhosonke Ntuli said the protests were fuelled by frustration. “We believe that if this is true development, we should be able to participate. Why should we be relocated to another area if this is for us?” said Ntuli.

He said they were promised a meeting with Premier S’bu Ndebele to explain why they should relocate, however, this never materialised. “We live there and we hear we are going to be relocated and yet we don’t know anything about it, everyone else is getting their land back and we are asked to move from ours.”

The R19,4 billion “city within a city” is one of the largest foreign investments in the country and is expected to create 16 000 direct and indirect jobs.

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