Shacks erected in protest

2010-05-09 04:48

Residents of Soweto who had threatened to erect shacks in and

around Soweto if their demands were not met, did so this morning.

The group of mostly elderly women chanted political struggle songs

as they built the shacks in protest.

The 1996-2000 Housing Waiting Committee marched to the Johannesburg

offices of the Department of Human Settlements in Gauteng two weeks ago with a

memorandum of demands and gave the department 14 days to respond.

The group’s chairperson, Bongani Nkosi, said they only received

notification that the department had received the letter and that was “not


Captain Sazila Malisa of the Naledi police said that what the group

was doing was illegal: “This is land invasion according to the by-laws.”

Malisa said police would monitor the situation and Johannesburg

Metro Police members were on their way to disperse the crowd and to destroy the

make-shift structures.

The 1996-2000 Housing Waiting Committee is made up of people who

are renting backrooms and shacks in others’ yards.

They claim that they are being overlooked because they do not stay

in shacks.

Sibongile Mabaso, secretary of the committee, said that other

disgruntled groups in Soweto were going to join them in future protests.

Mabaso said: “We are in communication with groups from Pimville,

Tladi, Phiri, White City, Mofolo and Dube. Next time we protest they will join


At the moment, the committee is made up of people from Emdeni, Zola

and Naledi.

Nkosi said that this was only the beginning as they are planning to

raise funds to go to Parliament in Cape Town to camp on its doorstep.


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