Eldorado Park explodes over lack of houses and jobs

2017-05-09 13:14

Johannesburg - Residents from Eldorado Park and Freedom Park protested over the lack of housing and jobs on Monday. The protest turned violent; residents and police had running battles along the Golden Highway which runs through both suburbs.

Shaun Jacobs a young protester explained what set off the protests: "There's no development in this area. There is no future for the youth here. Why do you think so many people from here get involved in selling drugs and stealing? It’s because there are no opportunities,'' he said.

Earlier residents blockaded the Golden Highway as well as the N12 and N1 highways which led to traffic congestion for people leaving the southern suburbs on their way to work.


A resident tries to calm the situation in Eldorado Park on Monday, but without any success as the violence escalated. (Ihsaan Haffejee, Ground Up)

Police managed to unblock the highways but the Golden Highway remained shut to traffic well into the late afternoon.

In the morning commuters were seen making u-turns and heading home as all exits out of the suburbs were blocked

Protesters from the two suburbs joined forces as they attempted to push police back. They armed themselves with stones and petrol bombs.

Police retaliated by firing rubber bullets and teargas into the crowd. A few tear gas canisters landed in houses causing panic among the people living in them.

Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) flying squad also entered the fray when reports of the looting of a nearby Shoprite surfaced.

The SAPS flying squad members charged the crowd armed with live ammunition, with a few rounds being fired into the air.

A commanding officer withdrew the flying squad members and opted instead to utilise members of the Public Order Police who are trained for crowd control. 


Some learners were overcome with teargas. (Ihsaan Haffejee, Ground Up)

Elija Williams said that the pleas of the communities were ignored by government. He accused politicians of only visiting the area when votes are needed to win elections.

"My grandmother died living in a shack. I’m most probably going to die living in a shack. I don't want my child to also have to live their entire life in a shack with no electricity," said Williams.

Some schools in the area had to close and learners were sent home due to the escalating violence. Some learners cried on the side of the road crying after inhaling teargas fired by the police.

Residents vowed to continue to protest until Gauteng Human Settlement MEC Paul Mashatile came to the area to listen to their grievances.

Protesters vented their frustrations at both local and national government with some calling for the resignation of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba while other could be heard chanting "Zuma must fall".

Later in the afternoon Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane visited the area calling for calm to be restored. She confirmed that the Shoprite, Spar and BP garage were looted and that twelve people were arrested. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  protests

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.