No end in sight for Khayelitsha protests
Cape Town - Residents of YAB section in Khayelitsha burnt tyres and toyi-toyied on Pama Road during the early hours of Wednesday morning for a fourth day.
The protests started early, flared up again at dawn, and for a third time at around 10am. One mid-morning report from a resident on the scene was “there is fire everywhere on the road”.
Two sections of a wall were stripped and the cement was dumped to form a barrier across the road at about 4am.
Shortly thereafter, protesters were contained by police, but a handful resumed the protest when the Cape Argus got to the scene at first light.
They said police and disaster management officials had promised to escalate their concerns to the provincial Department of Human Settlements but never got back to them.
“They promised to return to us with an answer on Wednesday but never did so. Therefore, we are here to show them that we are not just going to disappear, if they ignore us,” one protester said.
The protests were initially about slack police work in the area but changed to anger about a lack of housing, sanitation and service delivery.
Spokesman Bruce Oom said Human Settlement MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela was aware of the protest.
“But our office understands the protesters are complaining to the city’s housing portfolio and about services rendered by the city. We are therefore not in a position to comment,” he said, referring the Cape Argus to Mayor Patricia de Lille’s office.
Solly Malatsi, De Lille’s spokesman, said the mayor had no comment on the protests.
YAB residents said they had been living in shacks there for over two decades while they wait for houses.
Some shacks are located on a bend in Pama Road notorious for accidents. There had been a number of incidents where cars had crashed into shacks, said resident Luvuyo Dinginto. Crime was rife, police response time slow and more than a thousand people had to share 11 toilets in the settlement.