Shots fired as Laudium protesters demand delivery of basic services

2017-05-10 11:29

WATCH: Gugulethu roads burn as residents protest

2017-05-10 09:25

Residents in Gugulethu, Cape Town, say they were promised a community hall, an old age home, a park and a satellite police station. Protests broke out on Wednesday morning after fed-up residents blamed the DA for non-delivery.WATCH

Pretoria - Live shots and rubber bullets have been fired in Laudium, near Pretoria after residents from the Itireleng informal settlement took to the streets blocking roads and burning tyres demanding delivery of basic services.

More than 100 residents had gathered along the R55 just after 05:00. Members of the SA Police Service and the Tshwane Metro Police arrived shortly afterward and were monitoring the crowd from a safe distance.

Some of the residents complained that they had been living in Itireleng for about eight years and were still struggling to gain access to water and electricity.

A man was seriously injured after being attacked during the protests. It was initially believed that the man had succumbed to his injuries. However, it was later revealed that he was still alive.

LIVE: Police fire rubber bullets to quell Gauteng protesters

One parent told reporters on the ground that residents were tired of watching their children die from illegally connected electricity cables running through the informal settlement and wanted government to do something about it now.

They demanded that action be taken within seven days.

The City of Tshwane's Member of the Mayoral Committee on Housing Mandla Nkomo arrived shortly after 09:00 to address the residents.

Addressing the visibly angry and frustrated crowd from a nyala, Nkomo said the current department was working on a budget from the previous administration which left them very little room to make big decisions such as ensuring that there would be electricity in seven days.

"For you guys to expect me to say that there will be electricity now, I don't want to do that because I will be lying to you. But we are working on it, by month end there will be a new budget for the new administration," he said.

Residents were not happy with Nkomo saying they were not willing to negotiate on the matter.

They handed a memorandum to him and said they demanded answers within seven days.

"We want action now," one resident said.

Another resident told Nkomo that there were 2 098 stands in Itireleng without electricity and water. He said the stands had been that way for the past eight years that he had lived there and that action needed to be taken by government.

Nkomo left about 20 minutes after his arrival.

The atmosphere calmed shortly after that with some residents making their way from the main road back to the informal settlement.

However, minutes later officers fired rubber bullets.

A News24 reporter heard shots of what sounded like live ammunition being fired. She later saw three members of the public with guns in their hands who were trying to protect their homes and a nearby mosque from being looted.

Police could not immediately confirm whether the men had been taken into custody. However, a News24 reporter on the ground confirmed seeing the men being put inside a police van.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  service delivery  |  protests

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