De­liv­ery protests block R67

Talk of the Town - - News - ROB KNOWLES

STONES were thrown at cars at­tempt­ing to get past an im­promptu road­block at the en­trance to the New Rest in­for­mal set­tle­ment on the R67 last Fri­day – in or­der to draw at­ten­tion to the plight of the peo­ple there, who have been wait­ing for houses for the last 17 years.

“The res­i­dents of New Rest were never meant to be here for so long,” com­mu­nity leader Xhal­isile Nganqu said. “In all this time there has been no move­ment by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, and we are tired of wait­ing.”

Nganqu was clear that the Thorn­hill Town­ship de­vel­op­ment on the other side of the R67 was meant to take the shack dwellers in the New Rest area and pro­vide proper hous­ing.

“The en­vi­ron­ment where we live is un­healthy, with no elec­tric­ity and, when it rains, the roads are so bad that peo­ple can’t get in or out,” he said.

Res­i­dents are not just re­quest­ing houses but also plots of land to en­able them to build their own houses.

In the past, Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity stated the Thorn­hilll de­vel­op­ment was built pri­mar­ily to move the res­i­dents of the New Rest in­for­mal set­tle­ment into houses. At that time, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity stated that the in­for­mal shacks at New Rest would be de­mol­ished in or­der to pre­vent oth­ers from mov­ing there.

How­ever, since it was built, the peo­ple have ques­tioned who qual­i­fied for an RDP house, and in­stances have been cited where some coun­cil­lors had al­legedly ben­e­fit­ted at the ex­pense of the com­mu­nity mem­bers for whom the houses were built.

The SAPS were called out when re­ports were re­ceived that cars had been stoned while pass­ing the road­block. Af­ter the po­lice had moved the bar­ri­cades from the road, Nd­lambe speaker Vi­vian Mapha­phu and Ward 6 coun­cil­lor MK Raco ar­rived and or­gan­ised a meet­ing with res­i­dents for Tues­day for their griev­ances to be aired.

That meet­ing did not tran­spire, how­ever, as in­fra­struc­ture di­rec­tor No­luthando Vithi was un­avail­able. The meet­ing was there­fore resched­uled for yes­ter­day, the con­clu­sion thereof be­ing too late for this

week’s TotT. In­stead, see the TotT web page (www.talkof­thetown.co.za) for any up­dates on this sit­u­a­tion.

“They want houses, they want sites to build houses as well as houses,” Mapha­phu said.

“The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will give a de­tailed state­ment next week about the sites in ques­tion.”

Pic­ture: ROB KNOWLES

WANT­ING HOUSES: Protest­ing New Rest res­i­dents gath­ered on the side of the road af­ter po­lice re­moved rocks and burn­ing branches from the R67 at the 43 Air School turnoff last Fri­day. Ear­lier the res­i­dents, who are de­mand­ing the al­lo­ca­tion of plots and houses at Thorn­hill, stopped traf­fic with the block­ade and threw stones at some cars that man­aged to get past the bar­ri­cades

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.