The damage caused by the ongoing protests in Zwelihle, Hermanus have amounted to approximately R40-million. These costs have stemmed from the infrastructure and equipment damaged.

Protestors in the area have been clashing with police since last week, causing more than 40 protestors to be arrested. Nineteen appeared in court on Friday.

Speaking to IOL, municipal manager of the Overstrand Municipality, Connie Groenewald said that the damages include a conveyor belt and baler at the recycling plant. “Infrastructure and equipment, including the conveyor belt and baler at the recycling plant (among others), have been burnt, which has caused substantial damage to the waste transfer and recycling plants. Current estimates of damage, but not limited to, the Hermanus Sewage Works, swimming pool buildings, various other buildings and roads, amount to about R40 million,” she said.

As a result of this, no recycling can take place in Hermanus or Kleinmond any longer.

Western Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, said that the protests have caused disruptions for pupils who attend schools outside of Zwelihle in areas such as Hermanus and Kleinmond.

“We are currently developing contingency plans, including tutoring program to assist learners who have not been able to go to school since Tuesday due to violent protest action in the area. The safety of our learners and educators is paramount,” Hammond said. “It is disheartening that their education is being affected and we will provide as much support as we can once they return.”

The protest action has also resulted in vandalism to the perimeter fence of Mount Pleasant School, as well as some of the school’s windows and doors.

“Our schools are community assets and should be treated as such,” said Hammond.

Residents have stopped protesting for housing, as they have been granted a plot of land where the building of houses will commence.

The protestors are currently publicly demanding the release of community leader, Gcobani Ndongana, and for all charges against him to be dropped.

Ndzongana was due to appear in court on Thursday on charges of malicious damage to property and inciting violence.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, along with his advisor Lennit Max, will visit Zwelihle on Thursday.

picture: Twitter

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.