10 May 2017

South Africa: Protests Spread Across Southern Johannesburg

"We can't be sharing a space with our grandparents and parents"

Service delivery protests engulfing the townships to the south of Johannesburg are continuing. Residents of Finetown which is located next to Ennerdale took to the streets blocking all entrances and exits out of the township with rocks and burning tyres. Protesting residents also managed to block traffic on the Golden Highway but had to retreat back into the township when a large police contingent arrived and fired stun grenades and rubber bullets. This follows protests that have taken place in the neighbouring suburbs of Ennerdale, Eldorado Park, Lenasia South and Kliptown.

Vuyo Kamba a community leader who was part of the organisers of the protest articulated the issues facing the community. "As the youth we need land. We tried speaking to our councillor but we have not made progress. We can't be sharing a space with our grandparents and parents," said Kamba. The issue of overcrowding of families in the available houses was one that was constantly brought up by protesters during the course of the day. "I don't care if there is no electricity on that land I will build a shack and live in it as long as I can have my own space for myself and my kids," continued Kamba.

Police continued firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the residents who attempted to once again reach the main road. Schools in the area remained shut for the day leading to a large number of youngsters taking part in the protest.

"I don't care if there is no electricity on that land I will build a shack and live in it as long as I can have my own space for myself and my kids."

Mxolisi Eric Xayiya the Gauteng Premiers Special Advisor on Service Delivery and Management arrived to listen to the demands of the protesters. "We have to bring both Provincial and local government representatives together so that we can get clear reasons as to the problems holding up development in this area. We also need to implement strict timelines and communicate to the people who stands to benefit so that we can provide the community with certainty," said Xayiya.

"We had to close the main roads because its the only thing that gets the attention of the authorities," said Kamba when questioned on the tactics being used by protesters. "If we are not satisfied with what the government representatives tell us we will continue our struggle until we get what we want."

Kamba indicated that no development was being made in the township to assist the youth in achieving their goals. "The youth have nothing to do here. That's why you will find young boys smoking naope and other such drugs to pass the time."

More on This

More Than 50 Arrested in Eldorado Park and Kliptown

Gauteng police said on Tuesday evening that more than 50 people have been arrested after violence erupted in Eldorado… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 GroundUp. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.