Top officials intervene in housing protest

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Angry residents take advantage of the presence of ANC bigwigs in their area to express their frustration with the lack of development.

Angry residents took advantage of the presence of ANC bigwigs in their area to express their frustration with the lack of development by barricading roads with burning tyres yesterday morning in Seyisa, near Kwazakhele, in Port Elizabeth.

The residents, protesting over the lack of housing, demanded the removal of Ward 19 councillor Thanduxolo Jacobs, saying they had lost confidence in his leadership.

Early yesterday, about 200 protesters blocked Matomela Road with burning tyres, demanding to know what had happened to the R10-million budgeted for a housing project in the area.

Even though there was strong police visibility, protesters only dispersed after the intervention of Eastern Cape Sports MEC Pemmy Majodina.

She arrived at the protest with Nelson Mandela Bay human settlement portfolio head Nomvuselelo Tontsi, infrastructure portfolio head Andile Mfunda and other municipal officials.

“We want to know what the issues are that have led to this action, [and] what plan the municipality has for this area,” Majodina said.

Residents said 200 families were due to benefit from the housing project and had been asked to move to another area in the Ekuphumleni informal settlement in May so building could begin.

They said 48 families due to be moved to Khayamnandi did not want to go, which was stalling the building process.

Resident Lungiswa Mini, 34, said: “People sacrificed and moved to the other side because we wanted better houses.

“We had to move into one-room shacks.

“In February, we wrote to mayor Danny Jordaan.

“His office promised to respond within 14 days, but we have had no word.

“On Friday, we again wrote without response, which is why we decided to close this road,” she said.

Nosipho Gcibe, 26, said there had been several meetings with municipal officials, but nothing had resulted.

A community meeting has been scheduled at the Seyisa hall at 5pm today.

Majodina said she would be present. at the meeting.


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