Roads blocked in Khayelitsha protest
Cape Town - Khayelitsha residents protesting against bad policing and slow housing delivery burnt tyres and blocked Pama Road in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The protest, involving dozens of toyi-toying people, has seen sporadic flare-ups since Sunday. It started over allegations of slack police work and slow response times in the area in the last few days.
However, residents from ward 91, also known as YAB section, used the opportunity to escalate their concerns about slow housing delivery and poor sanitation in the informal settlement which abuts Pama Road.
Protesters allege police took too long to respond to the scene of a murder on Monday, as well as allowing a robbery suspect to escape from custody.
But when they were interviewed by the Cape Argus, lack of housing and sanitation were uppermost in their minds.
“Eleven toilets for more than a thousand people, that is the reality.
“I have lived here since I was a child; the conditions are terrible. Cars veer off the road sometimes and crash into the shacks. It is unsafe and unhealthy,” complained resident Luvuyo Dinginto, 32, pointing to overflowing drains and a pile of rubbish.
“We don’t merely want another portaloo here or there. We want to move away, we want houses. This area is not suitable for humans to live in.”
Dinginto returned to the issue of policing, saying the cluster commander needed to investigate response times at Khayelitsha police station.
This morning, traffic officers blocked traffic on Pama Road between Lwandle Road and Mew Way. Police were on the scene, where smouldering rubble blocked the road.
An officer spoke to residents, promising them he had conveyed their concerns to police management. However, he warned that anyone identified burning tyres or partaking in violent protest would be arrested. A traffic light had been burnt and the road damaged, he said.
No arrests had yet been made, said police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut.
The ward councillor for the area, Monde Mabandla, said he had met a committee from the community and had arranged for them to meet officials from the provincial Department for Human Settlements on August 15.
“That’s all very well, and we want to meet peacefully on this matter, but I don’t see why we have to take a whole month before we can have this meeting,” said resident Dinginto.