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Gauteng govt admits latest protests are genuine, deserve response

Government leaders in the province resolved to set up a team to address grievances, with the collaboration of community leaders.

FILE: A tyre burns during a protest in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng government says it acknowledges that the issues behind the latest wave of protests are genuine and deserving of a response.

In a joint statement following a high-level meeting, government leaders in the province resolved to set up a team to address grievances, with the collaboration of community leaders.

This week has seen violent demonstrations in Laudium, Ennerdale, Elderado Park, Kliptown and Finetown mainly over housing issues.

Laudium

On Wednesday, 10 people were arrested in a violent service delivery protest in Laudium, Pretoria.

Angry residents started blocking roads and burning tyres early on Wednesday morning.

There had been unconfirmed reports of a death linked to the demonstration, but police have had confirmed that one man collapsed and was taken to hospital.

Once protesters dispersed, the R55 was reopened to traffic and police officers stayed behind to clear the rubble.

Ennerdale

On Thursday morning, police were back patrolling the streets of Ennerdale, where protests erupted once again.

Residents blocked roads as they continued with their demonstration over housing backlogs.

Police were going door to door trying to stop protesters who were pelting police with stones once again.

Some parents in Ennerdale also formed a human chain around the local primary school, guarding the premises against protesters.

WATCH: Ennerdale: We're Johannesburg's forgotten people

Eldorado Park

On Thursday, the Eldorado Park Church Community condemned the recent violent protests in the area.

They said while they support the demands for better housing, they do not endorse the violence.

Residents looted shops, taking of groceries and furniture.

Church members in Eldorado Park met on a street in the area to pray for a solution to the recent violence protests.

WATCH: Eldorado Park becomes war zone as protest turns ugly

Kliptown

On Tuesday, several shops were broken into and some looted in Kliptown, Soweto.

There had been running battles involving police and private security there on Tuesday evening.

Kliptown residents are also citing lack of housing.

Law enforcement officials had their hands full trying to clear the area, with business owners closing operation to protecting their shops from more looting.

Finetown

On Wednesday, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said he never promised residents that he would build houses as he knows that this is not possible because he inherited a city with over 300,000 official housing backlog.

Mashaba was not the only government official to say he never promised Joburg South residents housing.

Finetown residents were also protesting over housing.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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