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WC Community Safety MEC Winde calms for calm amid protests

Lwandle, Blackheath and Khayelitsha have been beset by protests over a range of issues, including housing and high water bills.

A taxi tries to make its way through the barricade of burning tires and rubble. Khayelitsha residents protested over high water bills. Picture: Bertram Malgas

LWANDLE - Western Community Safety MEC Alan Winde has called for calm, pleading with protesting communities not to resort to violence.

Lwandle, Blackheath and Khayelitsha have been beset by protests over a range of issues, including housing and high water bills.

WATCH: Lwandle residents: We want to live a decent life

In Khayelitsha, scores of disgruntled residents took to the streets burning tyres in protest against high water bills.

Twenty people were arrested in Lwandle after scores of residents erected shacks on a vacant piece of privately owned land adjacent to the N2 Highway.

Winde visited Lwandle on Thursday afternoon. He said: “I understand the pressure. People come here to look for housing, jobs, healthcare and education. They come here from other failures to this region and this puts huge pressure on us. Let’s have that discussion, but let’s not have it around burning tyres.”

Wooden planks could be in the ground on an empty piece of privately owned land next to the N2 Highway in Lwandle. Authorities have since removed zinc plates and other building materials.

Protest organiser Lifa Nofemele said they wanted to erect shacks on the vacant land and live there until they received proper brick and mortar houses from government.

“We want to wait for those houses from government while we are still here.”

Residents said they’ve been on housing waiting lists for years while living in people’s backyards. They believe their only option is to forcefully take pieces of land to build their homes on.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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