Protests have erupted in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, with residents stating they have sidelined in the allocation of housing, job opportunities and policing. All these factors they say, contributed to crime especially through increasing unemployment and a lack of police intervention.
The protests started after residents in Eldorado Park were evicted on Sunday and have spread to areas such as Freedom Park, Ennerdale and Lenasia. The protesters have blocked of the roads causing heavy congestion across Johannesburg and parents have been advised to keep their kids at home. Police are firing on the protesters with rubber bullets and 12 people were arrested for public violence.
According to EWN, protesting residents like Marlene Loggenberg says she’s been on the subsidized housing waiting list 30 years and her salary is to too little for a bond and too much for an RDP house.” Residents also say that there is land available for housing but these are being used as dumping sites.
Johannesburg’s minister for housing, Mzobanzi Ntuli, refused to meet with the protest leaders claiming that they were criminals and the local councilor, Peter Rafferty, switched off his phone to avoid commenting on the situation. Gauteng’s MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, has however indicated that she will be meeting with community members. Residents also demanded to be addressed by Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile.
The protesters stated that they are no longer willing to sit back and allow government to ignore them. They have stated that they want to be recognized as being “part and parcel of this country” and have vowed to continue their protests until their demands for housing is met.