Bapsfontein residents protest relocation

2010-12-28 13:00

Johannesburg - More than 500 community members are protesting on Tuesday against their relocation from Bapsfontein informal settlement to an area near Benoni, police said on Tuesday.

"They started to be violent but the police stopped them," Constable Sally Skosana said.

She said at one point the people were throwing stones, but by late morning the protest was peaceful.

She said the people did not want to go to a transit area next to Chief Albert Luthuli township near Benoni.

Dolomite problem

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has said that about 3 000 families need to relocate because of a dolomite problem in Bapsfontein.

"The Bapsfontein informal settlement area was declared a local state of disaster which is highly unstable and not safe for human settlement due to the dolomite instability in the area," municipal spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said on Monday.

He said the relocation process was expected to run until mid January and the families were first being moved to various temporary relocation points.

They will stay in temporary accommodation at N12 Highway Park, in the area between Putfontein Road on the western side, Benoni Road on the eastern side, N12 on the southern side and Chief Albert Luthuli Extension Three on the northern side.

Dolomite is soluble and over time dissolves, posing a danger to people living on dolomitic land where cave-ins known as sink holes eventually occur.