We feel like hostages, says Cape smallholder

2015-08-24 17:13
(Photo: File, News24)

(Photo: File, News24)

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Cape Town - A smallholding owner in Mikpunt, Cape Town, says residents are being "held hostage" by protesters who have blocked off their only access road.

On Monday, protesters burnt tyres, looted shops and threw stones on Klipheuwel Road, which connects with the only road in and out of the group of smallholdings.

Western Cape police spokesperson Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said about 21 people, nine of them minors, had been arrested on charges of public violence.

She said officers were on the scene and no injuries were reported.

"We basically feel like hostages in our town. We can't get to work. We can't drive around at night. It's dangerous for us," Albert Rossouw told News24 on Monday afternoon.

Rossouw, who lives with his wife and child, said their power had been cut numerous times in the last week and vehicles were pelted with stones.

The area is about 60km out of central Cape Town and close to Philadelphia.

According to Mikpunt Neighbourhood Watch chair Lourens Steyn, the protest was over the provision of electricity and water.

He said the city could apparently not provide these basic services because protesters had settled on private land.

"This issue has been going on for four years and every time it gets more violent."

He praised the police and Eskom for their response to the continued protests.

Electricity pylons were burnt down and power officials had apparently visited the area at all hours to sort it out.

"My goal is to get the city to appoint a person or committee to take ownership of this issue and to assign a budget," Steyn said.

Ward councillor Justin Basson was unavailable for comment on Monday afternoon.

The city was expected to provide comment later.

Read more on:    cape town  |  protests

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