WATCH: #BoKaap chaos spills onto streets as residents block developers
By Marvin Charles and Yazeed Kamaldien Nov 20, 2018
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Cape Town - Chaos unfolded on Tuesday morning in Lion Street, Bo-Kaap, when angry residents of the area blocked a Blok crane from entering the neighbourhood
Earlier this year, Bo-Kaap Youth Movement (BKYM) spearheaded protests against property developers in Bo-Kaap, claiming they were entrenching gentrification and eroding their heritage.
Since then the group split and its remaining leadership - Adnaan Oesman, Mujahid Hartley and Achmad Siraj Leggett - held talks with Blok.
This resulted in a “collaboration to find a solution agreement between Blok Urban Living and Bo-Kaap Youth Movement”, which the Cape Argus has seen.
This agreement was signed in July, shortly after all the protests in Bo-Kaap erupted, leading to burning tyres and road closures.
The agreement stated that the youth group and Blok were “engaging with one another to endeavour to resolve their differences and find a solution to their current impasse in connection with the current building developments in the Bo-Kaap”.
Despite this agreement, Blok turned to the Western Cape High Court and obtained an interdict against Bo-Kaap residents, served this week, prohibiting them from “causing obstructions” or “entering or trespassing on the 40 Lion Street construction site”.
Residents said the group is destroying Bo-Kaap's heritage.
"We are here to protest against this development and uphold our constitutional right to protest," resident Jackie Toking said.
She explained that despite residents being served an interdict not to protest, a
round 50 residents gathered outside the development.
Police maintained a strong presence in the area. Police also escorted the crane to the development and barred protesters from stopping the crane. Police also fired stun grenades to disperse protesters. Two people have also arrested among them an 80-year-old woman.
"We are showing today that no interdict can overrule that. We don't want the crane here and if the crane comes again we will be here," she said.
Blok developers are busy developing a pilot inclusionary-housing project, FORTY ON L located in Lion Street.