Nkandla informal residents in Mamelodi gather at the local municipal offices to complain about service delivery. Picture: Rapula Moatshe
Nkandla informal residents in Mamelodi gather at the local municipal offices to complain about service delivery. Picture: Rapula Moatshe

WATCH: Mamelodi's Nkandla informal settlement residents protest at municipal offices

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Feb 13, 2020

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Pretoria - Tshwane metro police officers were on standby to quell a possible violent protest against poor service delivery expected to rock municipal offices in Mamelodi.

This followed tension which prevailed on Wednesday when a group of community members residing in Nkandla informal settlement stormed municipal buildings and barricaded roads with burning tyres.

Community leader Vusi Mathebula said protesters demanded the City of Tshwane relocate them from their shack-populated settlement to a better place, where they would receive basic services such as water and electricity. 

Protesters marched to the municipal offices after news broke that the government intended to move victims of last year's localised floods from Mamelodi West Baptist Church to vacant land in Baviaanspoort.

Community leader Vusi Mathebula speaks about problems at Nkandla informal settlement. Video: Rapula Moatshe

The victims used to stay at Eerste Fabrieke, located near the river bank. 

They were temporarily accommodated at the church after their area was hit by floods in December.

Mathebula said: "We got wind of the news that the government wants to move them from the church. 

"We then decided that we want to be paired with them and be moved to where the government wants to take them."

On Wednesday, people expressed anger by setting alight tyres after one of the officials told them that their area fell under Bronkhorstspruit.

Calm was restored after metro police intervened by promising to organise a meeting between protesters and senior municipal officials.

On Thursday community leaders held another meeting with Region 6 acting executive director Billy Sepuru, who quashed reports that the government planned to relocate the flood victims.

Sepuru said the government grappled with finding portions of land for people living in all the 13 informal settlements in the township.

He said the process of formalisation of informal settlements and allocation of RDP houses was handled by the city's department of human settlements.

According to him, the government was preoccupied with identifying land where it could move the informal settlement people. 

He was, however, non-committal about deadlines for procuring the land.

Mathebula said residents previously raised demands with the municipality to receive better services, but they seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

There was one communal tap in Nkandla, which has at least 524 shacks built close to each other. 

Uncollected rubbish continued to pile up behind the dwellings. A stench from the rubbish permeated the air. 

Mathebula described the condition as dehumasing, saying people have been staying there since the place was started in 2014.

"People living in this place were once backyard dwellers. 

"We have been engaging with the municipality for more than four years to be resettled," he said.

Pretoria News

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