Cape Town – Imizamo Yethu residents in Hout Bay are protesting because they are tired of waiting for the City of Cape Town to provide basic services, a community leader said on Monday.
This as police arrested four protesters for public violence after vehicles were overturned, windows smashed and rubble set alight on Monday morning.
Nosicelo Mtakatana told News24 that living conditions were unbearable following devastating fires in March which destroyed 4 500 structures.
She said residents had been asked to move into three-by-three-metre corrugated structures on a nearby sports field because the City wanted to super-block burnt down areas.
Super-blocking is a process where roads are established in informal settlements to ensure basic services and emergency vehicles can easily access the area.
"When it’s raining, the rain is coming in these three-by-three shacks. Me, I’m staying [with] five [people] in that three-by-three," a distressed Mtakatana said.
"That thing [the shacks] is not nice because sometimes we don’t have electricity [and] we are using paraffin. That paraffin is affecting our kids.
"The problem why we are doing this, our kids are sick there because it’s cold. It’s not nice, we are sick and tired of waiting."
Mtakatana is one of an estimated 200 residents who have been protesting in Hout Bay since Saturday.
Rubber bullets, tear gas
They believe a three-month period, that the City allegedly requested to complete super-blocking in the area, has passed.
On Monday morning, residents requested that Mayor Patricia de Lille visit the area, but De Lille said she was blocked from entering.
"The disruption in the community is now reaching dangerous levels, but I remain completely willing to personally go and mediate with the community to get to the bottom of their issues and to ensure that the City of Cape Town keeps to its end of the bargain regarding development in Imizamo Yethu," she said in a statement.
When News24 visited the area on Monday morning, protesters could be seen overturning vehicles, setting rubble alight and carrying corrugated iron into streets.
Police used rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowds.
Also read: Man shot during Hout Bay protests
Victoria Road and Main Road in Hout Bay were closed to traffic on Monday morning.
News24 previously reported that City of Cape Town mayoral committee for safety, JP Smith, had called the behaviour of the protesters "riotous", and had called on police to use video footage to ensure individuals were prosecuted.
"The situation in Hout Bay has become serious and it is clear that it is no longer a matter of community protest, but has now entered the realm of sheer criminality," he said.