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EFF promises a peaceful march

The EFF will today march on behalf of Mooiplaats residents who face eviction.

The EFF will today march on behalf Mooiplaats residents who face eviction. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members have started gathering in Marabastad, where they are waiting for residents of the Mooiplaats informal settlement.

The group intends marching to the Union Buildings to demand better service delivery, which it claims Tshwane Municipality is not providing.

Residents are also marching against evictions.

The police clashed with protesters on Tuesday when they were prevented from marching.

Several dozen EFF members in their signature red berets have gathered around a vehicle blaring songs as they casually wait in an open field for the march to get underway.

Taxis' ferrying Mooiplaats residents have arrived, but it's understood several buses are also en route.

The residents want the Tshwane Municipality to provide them with basic services.

This week the city began distributing flyers in the area stating that the community would be relocated.

The move is part of the municipality's campaign to formalise informal settlements and provide citizens with property through deed transfers.

Motorists have been warned to expect traffic delays in the City Centre, which is already under pressure because of BRT construction.

SECOND ATTEMPT

The EFF party has given authorities its assurances that the march will be peaceful.

The party is attempting a second march after police stopped an illegal march from going ahead earlier this week.

Tempers flared when the crowd were prevented from starting their planned march on Tuesday, apparently because there was no one available to accept their memorandum of demands.

Police arrested four members of the EFF and opened fire with rubber bullets on demonstrators who became unruly.

The party's Patrick Sindane said, "The police are just informed that when they see the EFF they must open fire. We are starting to get worried. But we are not going to not challenge these things."

Meanwhile, the Tshwane Municipality has moved to ease tensions among residents by assuring them they will soon receive housing and services.

The city has promised to move residents to safe, permanent stands where they will eventually be provided with basic services and given land ownership through the issuing of title deeds.