'Gatvol' residents shut down streets in Mariannridge, KZN over land, housing

2018-11-13 15:39

Residents of Mariannridge near Pinetown, west of Durban have vowed to intensify their protest if the government does not meet their demands for land or housing soon.

"We have a coloured community that's gatvol of the promises that are made by government and local government. They promised to build these people 500 houses and they have failed to deliver on their promises and these people are saying enough is enough," community leader Llewellyn Jullies told News24.

Jullies said black people, white people and Indians also lived in the area.

The residents, who wore T-shirts bearing the words "Proudly Khoi-San", used burning tyres and logs of wood to blockade the area's main road on Tuesday.

They said their local ANC councillor promised them the 500 houses in 2010 but to date, they have received nothing.

When News24 arrived at the scene, some community members made petrol bombs in anticipation of a fight with the police. However, their leaders later asked them not to throw the bombs at the police.

Jullies reiterated that the community would not vote for the ANC in next year's election and that they would rather support a political party that would help them.

"We are saying to any political party that's coming out here to help Mariannridge, we will vote for you. We are looking for all the help that we can get because government is failing to come to the negotiation table. They are coming here with their non-chalant attitude," he said.

Jullies said the protest was also sparked by an incident last week when a 12-year-old boy was shot, allegedly by security guards.

Mariannridge residents blockaded roads with burnin

Mariannridge residents blockaded roads with burning tyres and tree logs during a protest over housing in the area on Tuesday. (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

The family of the boy has since opened a case, according to Jullies.

Jullies asked the community of Newlands East, Wentworth and Sydenham "to rise up" and join their fight.

"Come and assist Mariannridge because our fight is your fight, and your fight tomorrow will be our fight," he said.

Resident Tanya Johnson told News24 that they wanted to be given a plot of land that was in the area so they could build their own houses.

She described the RDP houses that were built in the area a few years ago as "matchboxes".

"Give us the land so that we can build the houses ourselves. We have no houses to stay in. We have no water and electricity," said Johnson.

The community said they did not shut down the schools in the area because exams were under way.

eThekwini metro police and the SA Police Service negotiated with the community to open the main road.

Read more on:    durban  |  protests
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