Kalbaskraal residents protest for fence, houses

2018-05-03 18:00
Residents of the Kalbaskraal informal settlement in Lotus River gather to meet with Councillor Patricia van der Ross to discuss matters which triggered protest action on Thursday morning.

Residents of the Kalbaskraal informal settlement in Lotus River gather to meet with Councillor Patricia van der Ross to discuss matters which triggered protest action on Thursday morning. (Earl Haupt)

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A group of residents from the Kalbaskraal informal settlement in Lotus River gathered to apply to the housing database on Thursday following protest action earlier in the day.

Earlier, the intersection at Third Avenue and Lake Road was blocked off with burning tyres and corrugated steel which was torn down.

Residents say that the reason for the protest action is because they say that they have been calling on their councillors to provide fencing to enclose the area in order to keep their children safe, while formal housing was also on the agenda. 

Mieta Benjamin has been living in the area for 45 years and says that one of her friend’s children was killed when they were knocked over by a car in February.

“We have been asking the councillors for housing all the years and we also been fighting for a fence for our safety, because there have been many shootings. Now because nobody came back to us with any feedback, they decided to do something about it themselves just to get them to erect a fence to keep the children safe.”

Councillor for the area Patricia van der Ross met with the residents later on Thursday to smooth over relations as well as register those who have not yet been added to the City’s housing database, with a site nearby earmarked for development.

“Before they (the City) get started on this, we are looking at getting all of them (the residents) registered first so that when they do go on the database, they are going to search for the area and these people’s names will come up,” says Van der Ross, who adds that she was told that a request for a fence was made three years ago, which was before she took up office in the area.

Van der Ross, along with the City’s informal settlements department, will meet with residents again at 09:00 to take measurements of the area required for fencing, while also providing residents the opportunity to motivate why the fence needs to be erected immediately.

Read more in Tuesday’s People’s Post.

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