High-level committee gears up to resolve Gauteng housing protests
The committee says it will expedite the process to provide visible improvements in the housing sector following protests in southern Johannesburg.
JOHANNESBURG – A high-level political committee set up to resolve the ongoing housing protests in Gauteng is expected to start its work on Friday.
This announcement was made following a meeting between Human Settlement Ministers Lindiwe Sisulu, Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen, Tshwane and Johannesburg mayors as well as community leaders.
This comes amid threats of a massive protest organised by communities which include Ennerdale, Eldorado Park and Finetown.
The committee says it will expedite the process to provide visible improvements in the housing sector.
Residents in Ennerdale, Eldorado Park, Finetown and other areas in southern Johannesburg took to the streets this week, barricading roads and preventing children from going to school.
The protests have also been marred by violence and looting.
With threats of a united, massive protest for Friday morning, Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile is expected to visit the area.
WATCH: Ennerdale: We're Johannesburg's forgotten people
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 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.
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: Eldorado Park becomes war zone as protest turns ugly
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 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.
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.
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.