Protesting residents 'fed up'

2010-02-22 10:21

Johannesburg - A group of Orange Farm residents say they are tired of being sidelined during development programmes that they believe are skewed towards the rich, said a spokesperson at a blockade on Johannesburg's Golden Highway on Monday.

"People are sick and tired, people are fed up," said Bricks Moloko an organiser for the Orange Farm Water Crisis Committee.

"We are told that we need to give the government a chance and each time they change the president we are told to give him a chance," said Moloko as several hundred people who had been up since 01:00 sang their demands around burning tyres, with police looking on.

Service delivery

He said development in the area was sub-standard and residents felt that the city of Johannesburg, which Orange Farm is part of, was prioritising other areas for development for international showcasing.

"The service delivery budget is very very poor. We need proper development, we need to be recognised. Orange Farm is part of the city of Johannesburg."

Their intention on Monday is for ward four councillor Meisie Msimango to come over and speak to them, but, says Moloko, "we know that the council does not have money".

He said they had lived through "many years" of delivery failure and that the ANC government was failing them.

Their only option was to hold sporadic protests, which, he said, yielded "a little development in responding to demand, but it is an insulting response".

Residents were growing weary of imbizos and "everything being put on paper" and even President Jacob Zuma's visit to Balfour last year did not bring much to the community.

Malema's lifestyle

They also felt aggrieved by reports of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's "luxury life".

"It's not only Malema. It is others too. They are not ashamed to buy million rand cars, while there is not enough public transport."

Inspector Mzimkhulu Mthimkulu said the protesters were peaceful but they had severely disrupted traffic during the morning commute.

Earlier, metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar urged motorists to use the N1 freeway as the section between Palm Springs and the railway bridge was inaccessible.