Protests intensify

2018-05-22 06:00
A container is pulled into the road in Vrygrond yesterday morning during protests that have been on and off for weeks.

A container is pulled into the road in Vrygrond yesterday morning during protests that have been on and off for weeks.

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Vrygrond residents took to the streets again and vowed to continue until the City of Cape Town meets them halfway in solving their problems.

Yesterday morning (Tuesday 21 May), the residents closed off Prince George Drive, at the entrance of Marina da Gama, saying they are frustrated by the way the City is handling their issue.

Michael Khumalo, chairperson of the Vrygrond Community Development Forum says residents resolved to go back to the streets after City officials refused to come to the meeting they had called.

“Our aim was to sit down with the City and come up with amicable solutions to all the matters at hand. For about two months land invasion officials demolished their structures without any eviction order or any paperwork from the court. They are just coming and demolishing structures on the Xakabantu land and this has been going on for months. We called the mayor and City officials to come talk to us and see if they followed due process but they didn’t pitch. This made the residents angry and they decided that no one will come in or go out of the area. The residents are angry that the City is taking them for a ride and not prioritising the issue so we will continue with what we are doing until such a time they decide to meet with us. They are not even showing any interest or trying to work with us which is frustrating the residents,” he says.

Since the residents started with the protest action several businesses have been damaged, including property at non-profit organisation New World Foundation in Capricorn­.

The organisation has been hit hard by the protests that have been going on in the area.

It runs several programmes for the community and lost two of its bakkies and had a security guard’s car damaged in the protests by residents demanding land.

Mildred Steven, a social worker at New World, says losing the bakkies has been a huge set back. She struggles to put into words how management and staff feel about their security guard being attacked.

“We depend on the bakkies a lot to run the organisation. Now we are stuck as we cannot do anything. The bakkies are used for several things like collecting donations, deliveries and even fetching and dropping off people that come to our programmes. Now we can’t do that, we are stuck. Though most of the programmes are not affected it feels like we are stuck because the bakkie is the centre of most things,” she says.V Continued on page 2.


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