Mitchells Plain, Siqalo ward councillors reiterate call for calm

A joint committee is expected to meet on Tuesday night, to discuss residents' issues and will report back to authorities.

Community leaders from Mitchells Plain, Siqalo and Rondevlei meet with local government following service delivery protests. Picture: Graig-Lee Smith/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Ward councillors in Mitchells Plain and Siqalo have repeated their calls for calm following last week’s violent protests.

While there haven’t been any fresh flare ups in violence, leaders say there are underlying tensions brewing between the communities.

A joint committee is expected to meet on Tuesday night, to discuss residents' issues and will report back to authorities.

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Last week Mitchells Plain residents clashed with protesters from Siqalo who had blocked roads, torched property and stoned vehicles during a service delivery protest.

Several meetings were held in the wake of the unrest, including one over the weekend, where the Western Cape Human Settlements Department promised houses to Siqalo residents and backyard dwellers in Mitchells Plain.

But Siqalo ward councillor Elton Jansen says this has increased tensions.

“Twenty odd years since our democracy, we cannot have these racial tensions. We condemn any form of racism. We formed this steering committee to breach that gap.”

Rondevlei ward councillor Joan Woodman believes the communities will be able to move forward together after Saturday's meeting.

“Siqalo and the Mitchells Plain residents who shook hands, they have come to the agreement that they’ll come together. There are many who have apologised for what has happened. This is our way forward.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)