Delivery protests block R67
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.”
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