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CoCT: Damage done in recent protests will cost millions to repair

Over the past two weeks, there have been multiple protests, many of which have turned violent.

FILE: A Golden Arrow Bus was torched during protests in Philippi on 12 June 2019. Picture:  1Second CPT-Daily Security Alerts Facebook page.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town (CoCT) said the damage done in a series of recent protests will cost millions to repair.

Over the past two weeks, there have been multiple protests, many of which have turned violent.

Mayoral committee member Felicity Purchase said law enforcement and SAPS officials are overstretched and can't be everywhere at once.

If you look at the vandalism across the roads because of protest action, we are doing calculations now to see how we can recover that.”

And protest action and general vandalism is sucking up council resources.

“We are spending millions fixing stuff when we could be providing additional services and that’s the tragedy of it.

The amount of work that needs to be done is always new stuff, which needs to be done and yet we have to replace stuff which costs everyone.”

At least 10 people have been arrested following the latest violent protest in Phillipi East on Thursday.

According to police residents took to the streets over a lack of electricity in the Siyangena informal settlement.

Protesters burnt tyres, pelted police with stones and torched a Golden Arrow bus as well as a business container.

Golden Arrow's Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said: “It is not okay to attack innocent people and make it very difficult for people to leave their homes and access economic opportunities. Each bus costs approximately R2.4 million and a portion of this cost must be absorbed by Golden Arrow. This will ultimately affect our customers, in terms of transport costs.”

Meanwhile, it appears calm has been restored in the St Helena Bay region following days of violent protests there.

Access roads have finally been re-opened after angry residents blocked them with rubble and burning tyres.

Locals have been demonstrating since Friday, to raise concerns over a lack of housing and poor service delivery.

The Saldanha Bay Municipality said a mediation process facilitated by South African Human Rights Commissioner Chris Nissen earlier this week has proven to be successful.

Leaders of the three protesting communities Laingville, The Cove and Stompneusbaai met with municipal officials and police to discuss their grievances.

The municipality said it presented plans for housing developments earmarked for the three areas and agreed the leaders would return to their communities to provide feedback on their plans.

Nissen earlier this week told EWN residents have complained about poor living conditions, like still being forced to use pit toilets.

An 11-year-old boy was shot in the head when protests turned violent on Friday.

He is recovering at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital and the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

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