Roads still no-go zones

2018-05-02 06:01
No-go zone: Unidentified youth stripping a vehicle which was burnt in the middle of Witherow Avenue in Heidedal. The vehicle was also used to close the road for traffic flow.Photo: Teboho Setena

No-go zone: Unidentified youth stripping a vehicle which was burnt in the middle of Witherow Avenue in Heidedal. The vehicle was also used to close the road for traffic flow.Photo: Teboho Setena

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The situation in Heidedal remains calm after chaos erupted a week ago.

However, two main roads, Papers Street and Witherow Avenue, are no-go zones since residents barricaded it on 16 April after a brawl with members of the police’s Public Order.

Traffic flow and motorists living in the immediate settlement are affected. Disgusted residents are adamant that the action taken would remain until their demands – inclu­ding the release of the arrested persons and the allocation of land – are met.

Defiant residents shut down the two main roads a week ago after clashing with the police following the arrest of persons for public violence.

Daniel Wessenaar was arrested when law enforcement agents, including the police and the Mangaung Metro Police, stopped residents from occupying vacant land in Heidedal.

On 16 April scores of residents needing sites and houses occupied a vacant piece of land in the Mangaung Metro’s ward 47.

It is still unclear if Wessenaar was released. According to residents, he is reportedly one of the leaders elected to pursue the authority of the Mangaung Metro Municipality to allocate land. According to them, Wessenaar was wrongfully arrested on 17 April.

Informed sources said the authority of the Mangaung Metro was yet to meet with residents of Heidedal to address the land grab. The vacant land debacle remains unresolved after intervention by Adv. Tankiso Mea, the city manager.

On addressing residents on 19 April, Mea pointed out that there were procedures which must be followed and work done such as land surveying before, it can be developed for residential settlements.

Guarded by armed law enforcement agents, Mea was accompanied by local authorities that included Ward 47 councillor John de Bruin.

Express learnt that two meetings to address the occupation of the land, earmarked by residents, have failed to materialised.

Apparently the failed mee­tings have caused residents to decide against the clearing of the two main roads until Mayor Olly Mlamleli intervenes in the matter.

Residents said their decision to occupy the vacant land followed apparent failed attempts to get clear answers as whose land it was.

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