Seventy-nine people have been arrested for public violence in Zwelihle, Hermanus. On Friday, angry residents took to the streets demanding better service delivery and housing. This resulted in the looting of Zwelihle library and other municipal buildings. A bus was also set alight and gutted, but thus far, no deaths have been reported.
The municipality has also moved Somalian shop owners out of the township, as their businesses have been targeted by protestors. A reported 120 spaza shops were set alight or looted on Tuesday evening.
On Tuesday, community leaders met with government officials to discuss their concerns and demands.
According to Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, local government has identified land for the residents of Zwelihle.
ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore called on the Overstrand District Municipality to improve its service delivery to all citizens, as well as intensify its service.
The Minister of @The_DHS Nomaindiya Mfeketo will this afternoon visit Zwelihle township in #Hermanus following community protests. Meeting with Councillors at the Municipal Offices in Hermanus at 13h00. Community meeting at Zwelihle Stadium at 14h00.
— Human Settlements (@The_DHS) March 28, 2018
Those eligible for free housing need to earn R3 500 or less per month. Those who earn more than R3 500 but less than R15 000 can apply for a housing subsidy.
Madikizela has also identified the plight of backyards who live on other peoples’ properties.
“We need to identify the backyarders. Those are the people who are affected. We as government made the mistake that people living in the informal settlements are the only ones that need our help. The backyarders also need our help. We need to get the money from national government to make sure this process runs as speedily as possible,” he said. “Government needs to prioritise this. You need to create a committee to make sure this process runs smoothly.”
The Minister of Human Settlements, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, will meet with local councillors at the Overstrand Municipality at 1pm this afternoon, before meeting with the community at Zwelihle Stadium at 2pm.