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A day of Gauteng protests by Soweto, West Rand & Gomorrah residents

Residents from areas such as Pennyville in Soweto, Kagiso on the West Rand and Gomorrah in Tshwane are venting their frustration and making their demands known.

Protesters gather in Pennyville, Soweto on 12 April 2019. Picture: Kgomotso Modise/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - It has been a day of protests across Gauteng as residents from areas such as Pennyville in Soweto, Kagiso on the West Rand and Gomorrah in Tshwane are venting their frustration and making their demands known.

PENNYVILLE IN SOWETO

Organisers of Friday’s protest in Pennyville in Soweto have handed over a memorandum to the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Residents have been protesting since the early hours of morning and barricaded roads, and the N17 highway.

They are demanding title deeds to their flats and maintenance of their rented units.

In their memorandum, Pennyville residents are demanding that they be made owners of the flats they currently occupy.

“The memorandum is straight forward and speaks to no evictions, and ownership on all complex that are around Gauteng,” said community leader Mondi Mbatha.

The group has also demanded that the City of Johannesburg facilitate an indaba to review the social housing scheme and to deal with the backlog.

At the same time, the New Canada road and the N17 highway have been reopened with police monitoring the situation.

Gauteng police said they will stay in Pennyville until they were confident that calm had been restored.

Eight people have been arrested for public violence in the area.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said they would remain on high alert.

“The road has been opened and traffic is moving, but inside Pennyville community members are throwing stones towards police,” he said.

KAGISO RESIDENTS PROTEST OVER ELECTRICITY

In the West Rand, protesting residents in Kagiso blocked Main Reef road calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa and ministers who were at the funeral of the husband of the African National Congress’ Nomvula Mokonyane to come and address their electricity problem.

They said Eskom switched off their lights on Monday without any reason or notice being given to them.

The residents said government officials who were at the funeral service of Serge Mokonyane should address them.

One of the residents Zwelethu Ncana said Main Reef road would remain closed until Eskom decided to switch their lights on.

“Ramaphosa is the one that can make sure that this happens, he’s around and there’s a problem,” Ncana said.

Residents said Eskom had no right to punish all of them because a few people were failing to pay.

GOMORRAH RESIDENTS SNUB TSHWANE MAYOR

At the same time, Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa received a hostile reception on his arrival in Gomorrah informal settlement, west of Pretoria.

Mokgalapa accused the ANC of fueling the protests in the area and using some of the community’s legitimate grievances.

The mayor was in Gomorrah to address the community about what the city is doing to improve services in the informal settlement.

Friday marked the second day of violent protests in the area including Hammanskraal, Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa.

In Gomorrah, police had to use rubber bullets when protesters vandalised a church before setting parts of it alight including bibles.

They are demanding clean water, electricity, and other services from the municipality.

Mokgalapa said violence should not be tolerated.

“As much as we would understand the legitimate concerns of service delivery from the community, we will not tolerate any acts of criminality and violence,” he said.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)