Protests in Lenasia South

Lenasia South residents protest in support of government demolitions of houses built on illegally sold land on 26 November 2012. Picture: Theo Nkonki/EWN
Lenasia South Residents protest against homes built illegally in the area. Picture: Theo Nkonki/EWN.
Former ANCYL president Julius Malema toured demolished houses in Lenasia on Friday 23 November, 2012 much to the delight of the worried home owners. EWN’s Taurai Maduna reports.

JOHANNESBURG - Lenasia South residents are protesting on Monday morning over the housing crisis in the area.

Roads affected include Wimbledon and Sheffield.

Residents are blocking the roads by burning tyres and parking off their cars in protest against the illegal occupation of land.

More than 80 structures built on illegally sold land have been destroyed there over the past three weeks in Lenasia extension 13 and Lenasia South extension 4.

The Gauteng Housing Department and the Human Rights Commission agreed on Friday that demolitions be halted.

The protest comes just hours ahead of a visit by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and other government officials visit the area.

Residents have blockaded two roads and are also not allowing cars from leaving the area.

They are demanding that government continue with demolitions of houses built illegally in the area.

Tensions are high as the protesting group grows larger.

Residents have also apparently manhandled a man who they claim is part of those responsible of selling land illegally.

They also brought along their utility accounts which they say proves an increase in fees since illegal dwellers began occupying the land.

Meanwhile, Sexwale and Human Rights Commission chairman Lawrence Mushwana are expected to visit Lenasia later Monday morning.

The department's Motsamai Motlhauloa said the visit by Sexwale and Mushwana is aimed at finding a permanent solution.

“We all decided to suspend all demolitions for now in order to accommodate a process of engagement.”

HRC CEO Kayum Ahmed said the trip will also be a fact finding one.

“This would include looking at the houses which have already been demolished and trying to find some alternative solutions.”

The department has also opened its doors for political parties and activist groups to provide solutions to the crisis.

It has also pledged not to demolish any of the structures illegally built on government land until a way forward has been determined.