File photo: African News Agency/ANA
Cape Towns - Police and law enforcement officers remain on high alert in Parkwood after violent protests over lack of housing ended its first week.

Traffic was diverted from Prince George Drive yesterday as about 50 protesters stoned vehicles, said City spokesperson Wayne Dyason.

Residents started protesting last Saturday along Prince George Drive during what was meant to be a peaceful gathering to highlight housing and overcrowding in the area.

MEC for Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela visited the community earlier this week. She urged them to remove illegal structures erected on public open space.

It is understood that Madikizela met city officials yesterday to find a solution to the housing crisis in Parkwood.

He said she would give feedback to residents next week.

“We cannot allow our people to live like this. If we allow you to live here until we sort out this problem, the challenge is that you will have opportunists who will come from other areas who may have benefited from the government previously and then also join in.”

Community activist Paul Philips said it was unfortunate that criminal elements joined the protests.

“We are aware there are criminal elements that have taken advantage of the situation, which is unfortunate.

"I have since received a threat on my life as well, and have been advised to stay out of the area at the moment,” Philips said.

Parkwood Backyard Dwellers Association chairperson Dominic Booysen said they do not condone alleged gangsters taking advantage of the situation.

“We were asked to attend a meeting with our local CPF, law enforcement and police.

"We are very unhappy that criminals are now hijacking this movement and authorities think we are instigating this when all we had planned was the peaceful protest on Saturday last week.”

On Wednesday, law enforcement demolished 111 illegal structures and made 17 arrests for public violence.

Cape Times