News24

Kya Sands protest not political - DA

2012-03-26 14:38

Johannesburg - A protest in Kya Sands which resulted in the barricading of roads on Monday was not political, the area's DA ward councillor said.

"I don't want to believe that this is political, I want to separate this from politics," Matome Mafokwane said from the scene on Malibongwe Drive, in northern Johannesburg.

On Wednesday residents staged a mini protest in the area, and agreed to suspend their demonstrations until a meeting could be held on Monday night between councillors and residents.

Mafokwane said he was not sure what had sparked the renewed protests.

"Obviously something must have happened," he said.

Relocation

The possible relocation of residents from an informal "mini-settlement" at Inadan to the greater Kya Sands informal settlement was the initial reason given for the protest.

This apparently escalated into demands for housing and basic utilities.

"It started with one grievance, now it's packing on top with others," Mafokwane said.

Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the protesters blocked Malibongwe Drive around 05:00.

No injuries were reported and the crowd was peaceful. Police were monitoring the situation.

Dlamini said the protesters were expected to disperse once a housing official addressed them. It was not clear when this would be, or who the official was.

A spokesperson for the informal settlement dwellers, Ephraim Lifuwas, said employers were likely to bear the brunt of the protest as workers were unable to get to work.

The intention was to pressurise the government into yielding to their demands.

"Build houses. That is what we need," he said.

Regarding the relocation of residents, Mafokwane said normally, a decision was made on an issue only after departments had given councillors a detailed brief, and feedback had been obtained from the community.

Even he, as a councillor, was not sure of the situation regarding the relocation, he said.

"I'm in the face of this protest. I need to give them answers, but even I don't know what is going on.

"A meeting was secured for tonight, but now the situation has overtaken us, and we are talking about a big crowd wanting answers now.

"It's no longer about the move, it's now about water, housing, sanitation."

ANC controls resources

Mafokwane said that although the Democratic Alliance controlled the ward politically, the African National Congress-run council controlled the resources.

A housing department spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

Mafokwane said a group of Gauteng government officials had arrived at the scene and would address the protesters.

"Leaving aside whether the protest is legal or illegal, their concerns are legitimate, they are valid, make no mistake," he said.

The Kya Sands protest is the latest in a number of protests around the country in the past 10 days, including protests in Heidelberg in Gauteng and Hangberg in the Western Cape.

Apart from a protest at a church in Evaton, that appeared to be connected to allegations of satanism, the other protests were intended to draw attention to housing, water, electricity and education complaints.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa visited the site of protests in the farming area of Heidelberg last week. The ANC urged people to be patient with the government's pace of installing utilities and providing housing.

The Kya Sands informal settlement was established in the last two decades on a tract of land originally surrounded by farms and agricultural holdings.

Since then it has changed into a light industrial and retail zone.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Comments
  • Philemon - 2012-03-26 14:45

    This is a DA controlled area; NO service delivery. Go figure?

      clinton.badenhorst - 2012-03-26 14:57

      If you read the article correctly, you would have noticed that the resources are controlled by the ANC. No money, no service. Simple as that...

      rlp333 - 2012-03-27 01:10

      always has to be a comment from the simpleton.. "It's no longer about the move, it's now about water, housing, sanitation." ANC controls resources Perhaps you should read the full story before making a fool of yourself...

  • clinton.badenhorst - 2012-03-26 14:55

    Bread forth... Soon there will not be any more land available to squat on and no more white people left to pay the taxes so that you can demand free housing and utilities. The day draw closer and closer.

      Lu - 2012-03-26 15:34

      Pythagoras are saying is WHITE ppl that pay tax only. Move on bra this is post apartheid things have changed in this country big time. what I know white ppl are the only crooks that do not want to pay tax by robbing tax man. As for you leaving this country i m waiting for that day because this country will be so peaceful as ever. Imagine country without mourners.

      Godfrey - 2012-03-26 16:17

      @Lu, Yes as peaceful as Zim.LOL

      Simthandile Mpondo - 2012-03-26 17:12

      As if tax is only paid by white people.

  • Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-03-26 15:22

    When it happens in an ANC ward, that's in a DA ran municipality, its political and the ANC is behind that. But when its the other way round, you and your DA say its political. SMH

  • Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-03-26 15:25

    When it happens in an ANC ward, that's in a DA ran municipality, its political and the ANC is behind that. But when its the other way round, you and your DA don't say its political and the DA is behind it. SMH

  • Carlton - 2012-03-26 16:01

    I'm confused is the DA instigating the march or is it a typical service delivery complaint or is the DA stressing that it isn't an ANC caused riot?

  • Nosiphom - 2012-03-26 16:38

    If only the energy spent blaming one another would be spent finding solutions to the problem we would have progressed a lot. Why do we have a culture of entitlement? I never demanded a house to be built for me, I just bought one, without protesting. Blaming the ANC that has the resources (true they run the CoJ)or the DA who happen to be the ward councillors - rather than rub the ward does not bring us any closer to the solution. People should be made to contribute something for their houses!

  • rlp333 - 2012-03-27 01:13

    " No injuries were reported and the crowd was peaceful. Police were monitoring the situation." This is a lie! Please explain the anti-riot vehicle that was used and the firing of rubber bullets, tear gas, burning of tyres, veld, rubbish scattered over the street etc if this was so called "peaceful."

  • pages:
  • 1