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More protests loom

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Residents of TR Shacks in Lerato Park, Roodepan, have warned that they will be taking to the streets again this week in protest.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

RESIDENTS of TR Shacks in Lerato Park, Roodepan, have warned that they will be taking to the streets again this week in protest should they not receive any feedback on issues raised during a protest in the area last week.

The residents yesterday also accused Jacksonville residents of “hijacking” the protests staged on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

“We the people of TR Shacks in Lerato Park orchestrated the protests and were out in the streets by 1am in the morning to highlight issues in our community. However, Jacksonville residents hijacked not only the protests but also the media coverage thereof, taking away from the issues we were raising,” residents said.

They stated that Ivory Park had become a “dark zone” with no electricity or street lights.

“Our people are getting robbed on their way to work and coming back. We have no water or toilets and we live in shacks like animals. We have elderly people living alone and that is a risk to them. Our people are tired and fed up with all the empty promises. Our councillor lives a life of luxury while we are forced to live like animals,” the residents said.

They added that they would be embarking on more protest action this week should the Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, not provide them with feedback by today regarding the issues they raised.

“Mabilo made it clear that he would visit our community during the last week, in order for matters to be addressed, but he and his team have not done so. If he does not give us feedback by Monday (today), we will embark on a protest on Wednesday, from 6am,” the residents stated.

During last week’s protests, the protesters closed off roads, preventing commuters from entering or exiting Roodepan, in an attempt to draw attention to their plight.

Several reports indicated that residents were prevented from going to work while pupils could not attend school.

At the time, Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie condemned the protests and closure of roads, saying that while residents had the right to raise issues it could not be done at the expense of other city residents.

“While we note the protests and the issues raised, we have to condemn the destruction of property and the holding to ransom of people who are not involved. A number of workers could not get to their places of work and that could have a negative impact on them. While our people have the right to protest, they do not have the right to hold others to ransom while doing so,” Matsie said at the time.