Home News Scandal residents return to the streets

Scandal residents return to the streets

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Protest organisers have been accused of “using innocent community members to fight their internal political battles”

Residents of Scandal informal settlement closed off Tyson Road with burning tyres and rocks. Pictures: Soraya Crowie

RESIDENTS of Scandal informal settlement took to the street on Tuesday morning and barricaded Tyson and Royal streets with burning tyres, rocks and tree branches.

The roads were barricaded from the old Ekhaya Guest House in Galeshewe up to Joggies Café in Barkly Road.

Frustrated motorists had to use alternative routes to get to work and school, causing traffic jams on Nyathi Highway and Green Street in West End.

The protest later spread to Homestead, where the Barkly West road was barricaded.

It is believed that the protesters are the disgruntled residents of Scandal who had previously protested over basic services on Thursday, April 1.

Some people believe that the protest is politically motivated.

Apparently, the Scandal community did not show any interest in teaming up with a delegation of the United Community of Sol Plaatje Municipality (UCSPM) for engagements on Monday.

They apparently did not agree with the processes followed in the engagement with local government on Monday.

Police monitoring the protest.

Scandal residents held a community meeting on Monday following the live broadcast engagement with Premier Zamani Saul and executive mayor Patrick Mabilo by UCSPM, where the community decided to protest to demand a response to their memorandum.

Most of the representatives of the UCSPM were surprised by the protest and said they had been trying to get answers from the protest organisers.

Some believed that the organisers were “using innocent community members to fight their internal political battles”.

One of the UCSPM representatives pointed out that “they always follow the same route of protesting after an engagement”.

“The last time they attended the community meeting at the Galeshewe circle, where the mayor showed up, and they took to the street the next day.

“This time they protest after engagements with the government.

“We will never understand their motives because they also don’t have leaders.”

A community representative from Roodepan, David Kok, said there were “no clearly identified leaders in Scandal” whom they can engage with as a collective.

Kok pointed out that they were working with the leadership from other disgruntled communities.

Menda Ntshanyang from Galeshewe pointed out that all the grievances by different communities in the city are “intertwined”.

“I do not blame any of the communities for taking to the streets, I blame local government. They created this by not providing the necessary services,” said Ntshanyang.

“They keep on forcing unqualified leaders down our throats, whom they end up escalating to top positions in government. Those officials end up underperforming in their functions.”

The Mayor’s Office did not respond to media enquiries on whether there were any plans to address the protesters.

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