PICS: Looting, vandalism as Woodlands erupts after days of protests
Cape Town - Woodlands in Mitchells Plain was the scene of days of protests over housing and land which culminated in looting and violence on Monday night.
The area erupted after authorities removed around 20 shacks which were erected by people demanding houses. In the ensuing chaos, a number of businesses including a Pick n Pay and a well-known local auto shop were vandalised.
According to the City of Cape Town's Wayne Dyason, a shop at the BP garage on the corners of Mitchell Avenue and Ajax Way was also vandalised and looted by the angry protesters.
At least six businesses were looted or vandalised by rampaging protesters in Woodlands, Mitchell's Plain, on Monday night. Picture: Cindy Waxa /AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ ANA
Also on Monday the Mayco member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, requested that the South African Police Services establish a priority committee to deal with the spike in protests in the city.
"SAPS has identified 34 conflict areas. Just in the last week, we have had protests in Vrygrond, Parkwood, Bo-Kaap, Ocean View, Gugulethu, Macassar, Khayelitsha, Robert Sobukwe Road and 35th Avenue, Milnerton, Dunoon and Mitchells Plain," said Smith.
Protesters in Woodlands went on the rampage after authorities demolished shacks which were illegally erected by people who say they just want a home of their own. Picture: Cindy Waxa /AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ ANA
"Between SAPS and the City, we have deployed hundreds of resources to quell these violent protests, at the expense of other communities who are robbed of a policing presence. While we have yet to quantify the damage, it is safe to say that it runs into tens of millions of rand."
Smith said the City would "continue to support SAPS in terms of public order policing. The City is dispatching as many resources as it is able in order to deal with the violent nature of the protest action. We are also making available additional budget in the next three financial years to employ more Metro Police and Law Enforcement staff and we are also investigating what kind of technological contribution we are able to make to further enhance enforcement efforts.
"The City understands that there are communities with legitimate service delivery concerns and we continue to work very hard to deliver services within the limitations of our local government mandate and associated budget. It is, however, becoming more and more apparent that many of these legitimate issues are being hijacked by others with criminal and political intent," he said.