Residents plan mass march

2018-03-06 06:01

More than 3000 residents of the Egoli informal settlement in Schaapkraal will take part in a mass march on Human Rights Day.

This follows last Sunday’s protest when the area became volatile with residents protesting against poor service delivery and demanding a piece of land be made available for housing.

Several roads off Old Strandfontein Road were closed by police for motorists’ safety after protestors burned traffic lights, tyres and several T-shirts of the party leading the City of Cape Town.

Abraham Fransman, chairperson of the Egoli leadership, says his community has had enough.

“It is time to take action in order to be treated equally.

“We are tired of living like this. Our ward councillor promised to come back to our community to assist us with several issues affecting our people, but he hasn’t,” he says.

“Our people must not be taken for granted. We were born on these farms and we will die on these farms.

“If the City does not respond, we will be occupying a piece of land right opposite Egoli to accommodate our children who are living in terrible conditions in our current packed shacks.”

Abrahams, who has been living in Egoli for over 50 years, says the community’s plea for proper housing and living conditions has gone unanswered for years (“Ignored by officials”, People’s Post, 18 July 2017). The owner of the private land on which they are situated reportedly still refuses to negotiate with the community to install much-needed electricity (“Land owner in no mood for talks”, People’s Post, 25 July 2017).

“We do not want things for free, we are only asking for land or proper housing. It is our right as citizens. We are willing to build our structures ourselves,” he adds.

Ward 43 councillor, Elton Jansen, says he was not able to enter the area due to the unrest there on the day and he will meet with the community once the tension has abated.

“For obvious reasons I was not able to enter the community and was stopped by Metro Police.

“I am in contact with the property owners of the land they are situated on and will revert back to the community as soon as it unfolds,” he says.

The mass march will take place on Wednesday 21 March.

Transport will be made available for residents across the entire Philippi Horticultural Area to hand over a memorandum to the City.

Residents of Egoli say that if they do not have a positive response from City officials before a date in April, as requested, action will be taken – not action in the form of violence and burning of City property, but the community will take land and build structures for the needy, they say.

The community is currently in the process of collecting signatures to prepare for the big day.

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