Train commuters ‘burn’ shacks
Retaliation comes after commuters were left stranded when railway tracks were barricaded
A MONTH into the Marry Me informal settlement service delivery protests, two people have been killed, shacks have been burnt down and tensions between train commuters and the shack dwellers have intensified.
Julia Sekgoa and her five children have lived in their shack in the community for five years.
When The New Age visited the family yesterday, Sekgoa and her son were still settled on the flat ground that used to be their shack.
“I was sitting in my home hiding from rocks which were thrown into our homes by the train users. The next thing they pulled my shack and told us to get out as they wanted to burn it. They used grenades which we do not know where they got them from,” Sekgoa said.
All her belongings were lost in the fire, she only made out with the family’s identity documents.
The mother of three said she was not part of the service delivery protest and she was just unlucky because her house was near the railway track.
The burning of shacks was reportedly done by train commuters who were retaliating after they were left stranded when railway tracks were barricaded by protesters leading to train services from Mabopane to
A total of R40m has been put aside as Opex to finalise planning and detailed designs for informal settlements:
About 24 000 people are on waiting list of the housing needs register, backlog dates back as late as 1998.
The oldest informal settlement was established in 1995 in Mamelodi.
In the city’s budget and IDP, commitment made to formalise seven informal settlements.
Kopanong being suspended.
For close to a month Marry Me residents have been protesting for basic services such as water, electricity and houses. This has in turn negatively affected business operations in the area and transportation, particularly trains as the settlement is built along the railway line.
The residents often blockade Hebron Road with rocks and burning tyres leading to more traffic in the area.
Similar protests have also been carried out at a nearby informal settlement called Changing Spot with Roslyn Road, which is the road used to get in and out of Soshanguve, blockaded.
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said in his state of the capital address speech in April that the city had 183 informal settlements of which the majority is without access or receive rudimentary basic services.
He said the city was going to prioritise the upgrading of services delivered to informal settlements in order to improve the quality of life of those residents through project Tirane.
Msimanga said the city had been allocated human settlements development grant funding of R90m in 2017-18 to construct 1 000 top structures.
However, the situation is still the same with no basic needs, while the amount of settlements continues to mushroom.
“We have been living here for many years and we are struggling with water, electricity and marking of our stand. The shacks are so close that when one catches fire the rest also catch fire,” a male resident said.
UP IN FLAMES: Tension is running high between residents of Marry Me informal settlement in Soshanguve and train commuters after the groups clashed this week.