Calm returns to Imizamo Yethu as violent protests die down
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RESIDENTS of the Imizamo Yethu (IY) informal settlement in Hout Bay went on the rampage on Saturday, burning tyres and dismantling temporary structures provided to them by the City after recent fires.
The 500-strong crowd took their frustrations over the lack of housing and service delivery to the streets, blockading the main road into Hout Bay and barricading the busy Victoria Road.
They also set fire to the wood and zinc structures, and pelted police with stones. The police retaliated by firing tear gas at the crowds.
The City and IY residents are at loggerheads over some residents’ refusal to vacate a piece of land where the City is due to start building homes for the now-displaced residents.
A devastating fire ravaged the informal settlement in March, and residents were moved to vacant land nearby.
residents have claimed that Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille, promised them that the make-shift structures would only be their temporary homes for three months.
That was on March 10. Residents say they now entering the fourth month after that promise was made and they are fed up.
The City in turn said the delay was due to the refusal of some residents to move from the land earmarked for the building of new homes.
ANC local councillor, Bheki Hadebe said: “we don’t want to force anyone to move, we want to work with the people to find a way forward.”
When pressed by Weekend Argus about whether the residents understood that they were standing in the way of their own homes, Hadebe described the situation as an “oversight”.
According to Hadebe, a meeting is scheduled for Monday, which will hopefully pave the way for the construction of homes to commence in Imizamo Yethu.
Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League Dullah Omar Region issued a statement following this morning's violent protests, condemning the "DA-led City of Cape Town for failing to rebuild Hout Bay's Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlement in a manner that restores dignity".