Cosatu supports CT housing protest

The trade union federation says it supports Friday’s planned protest in the Cape Town CBD.

Cosatu's Tony Ehrenreich. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Thursday reiterated its support for those demonstrating against poor service delivery in some Cape Town townships.

Thousands of protestors, led by the Cape Town Informal Settlements Organisation, are expected to march to the Western Cape Legislature on Friday.

They are demonstrating against a lack of adequate sanitation and housing.

The city is gearing up to deal with any violence as a result of the demonstration.

Disgruntled residents caused havoc during previous marches earlier this year when they dumped human waste and looted stalls in the city centre.

Cosatu's Tony Ehrenreich says police must work with protest organisers to guarantee the safety of demonstrators and the public.

"Cosatu completely supports the right to protest. We believe that all protests must be done in a disciplined way," he said.

"We are very worried now that the police are clamping down on civil liberties and not giving them the right to raise their concerns on housing and sanitation."

Meanwhile, Cape Town police have vowed to maintain a heavy presence in the CBD to prevent violence and looting.

In October, stalls were looted when hundreds of protesters descended on the CBD during a housing protest.

City officials, including the ANC, condemned the violence and called on residents to voice their grievances peacefully.