In recent weeks, various protests have flared up in the City of Cape Town around the issue of housing. These include protests in the Southern suburb areas of Vrygrond, Capricorn, Grassy Park and Parkwood.
Yesterday, a protest in the informal settlement of Kayamandi in Stellenbosch was reported, and incidents of protests in the City’s CBD were reported as well.
Residents of Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap have taken to the streets of the CBD to protest against tourists and gentrification of the area, saying that it is driving out locals who can no longer afford to live in the one of the Cape’s most famous neighborhoods.
Speaking to CapeTalk on Wednesday morning, Human Settlements MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela, said that people cannot depend on the State to do everything for them. “The government has never had enough resources to provide houses for everyone,” Madikizela said.
He added that municipalities in the protesting areas must identify those who need houses and help them solve the problem efficiently and effectively.
“It cannot be that people who registered yesterday get houses before those who have been waiting for years,” Madikizela said. “We really need to get to the bottom of this. We are not prioritising this.”
Although Madikizela has engaged in talks with the various protesting communities, many residents have expressed anger at the City of Cape Town for demolishing their informal structures.
A recent update from the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement spokesperson, Wayne Dyason, shows that the protests in Parkwood are continuing and remain violent. “A few incidents of stoning on officials occurred,” he said. “SAPS retaliated by firing non-lethal rounds.”
Violent protest in Parkwood, Prince George Dr closed both ways between Dick Burton Rd and De Waal Rd, use alternative route.
— City of CT Alerts (@CityofCTAlerts) May 23, 2018
— Ntomboxolo Somdaka (@NMakoba) May 22, 2018
A ward councillor in the Bonteheuwel area recently tweeted: “If only these land invaders and protesters would have the same passion and determination to educate themselves and find a job, they may actually be in a position to buy their own homes and not be dependent on someone else.”
The Tweet has since been deleted.
Picture: Supplied/Wayne Dyason