City of CT condemns torching of property during Imizamo Yetho protest

Protests erupted when law enforcement officials demolished 52 structures standing in the way of the City’s super-blocking efforts.

FILE: Imizamo Yethu residents protest outside the Hout Bay Police station. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town says that protesters who set two homes alight during a protest in Imizamo Yethu are hampering a municipal project that is to benefit the whole community.

Protests erupted when law enforcement officials demolished 52 structures standing in the way of the city’s super-blocking efforts.

The project includes widening roads between rows of shacks to allow emergency vehicles to pass through.

It’s part of an initiative to stem the spread of fires.

“We condemn this violence and attack on people’s property because it’s the minority group who have been inciting violence and derailing the entire project, causing painful delays and we don’t want this for the people of Imizamo Yethu.”

Earlier this month, disgruntled residents in the informal settlement in Hout Bay went on a violent protest to vent frustrations with the city's rebuilding process in the community.

Residents have questioned the authority’s quick response to last month's Knysna fire disaster compared to what they are experiencing.

Some residents have accused local government of having a skewed approach to solving the disaster in their community compared to the fast relief aid rolled out in the fire-ravaged Southern Cape.

But Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says that officials have established measures to resolve the issues.

She says despite challenges with the re-blocking process, residents' housing needs will be attended to as soon as possible.

Additional reporting by Kevin Brandt.