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Reference
SA protest News 11-17 October 2010 (2010) SA protest News 11-17 October 2010.  : -.

Summary
Ndumo reserve hit by invasion, crime
YOLANDI GROENEWALD (Mail & Guardian) 15 October 2010

Environmentalists are holding their breath to see if order can be restored to the world-renowned Ndumo Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal after the provincial government called in police reinforcements in response to worsening anarchy there.

Ndumo was attacked by a mob at the end of last month, which destroyed a guard outpost and swing bridge close to the camp and threatened tourists and game rangers.

As a result, the KwaZulu-Natal agriculture and environmental affairs department called in troops.

The attack by the 70-strong mob is the latest crisis in the reserve since the wetland and birding area was hit by a land invasion by neighbouring communities two years ago, intended to "liberate" it for agriculture.

The invading Bhekabantu and eMbangweni communities cut down 12km of the park's fence, demanding that they be allowed to farm inside the park.

They have since gone on to occupy 16 20ha or 14% of the reserve, which includes the most ecological sensitive section of the park.

But despite the presence of troops, including the defence force patrolling the border, the land invaders continue to practise slash-and-burn cultivation, destroying large areas of mature riverine fig forest.

The Mail & Guardian understands the mob attack occurred after the provincial environmental portfolio committee met local leaders from the Mbangweni Corridor and Ezemvelo staff members on September 21 and 22.

The police intervened after the swing bridge was destroyed and a large section of mature forest felled with a chain saw.

The violence and illegal intrusion into the reserve from the Mbangweni Corridor threatens the Lubombo Ndumo-Tembe-Futi Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area, created through a protocol signed by the governments of South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland.

The initiative has the potential to contribute not only towards conservation, but also to bring socioeconomic benefits to an area characterised by poverty and unemployment.

The secretariat of the international Ramsar Wetlands convention in Switzerland has asked for a progress report on Ndumo.

The M&G has seen graphic game rangers' reports of the extensive damage to the reserve.

Even more damaging is the rampant poaching and illegal fishing. Poaching of fauna, including the use of cable snares, has already killed one white rhino and seriously injured another, the reports show.

An environmentalist who was formerly in charge of Ndumo Game Reserve, Paul Dutton, said he believed influential tribal leader Prince Russell Thembe was key to resolving the crisis.

"Thembe is the key person to mediate for a win-win solution to the current impasse as he is an influential and respected leader within local community structures," Dutton said.

He said he had flown over the reserve and Mbangweni Corridor last Sunday and detected neither police activity nor cultivators in the reserve.

"The corridor is a hotbed of crime that the police has to stamp out otherwise the problems faced by Ndumo will escalate to the advantage of the miscreants," he said.

Dutton believes the invasion of the reserve was motivated by criminal elements who wish to maintain freedom of activity in one of South Africa's most crime-ridden border areas.

Thembe did not respond to messages left on his phone.

Minister of Water and Environment Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica has constantly passed this hot potato on to provincial minister Lydia Johnson to resolve, but Johnson has been accused of dragging her feet on the issue in spite of promises.

"The department acknowledges that the process has taken longer than anticipated," said KwaZulu-Natal environmental department spokesperson, Ncumisa Mafunda.

The police monitored land-invasion activity, while the defence force was responsible for controlling the border, Mafunda said, insisting the police were in control of the situation.

"Short-term plans are under way involving fencing a piece of land allocated for subsistence food production."

Long-term plans include involving local communities in conservation management. "The strategy has not failed; the department is working hard to resolve this complicated matter," Mafunda said.
www.mg.co.za


Cops fire rubber bullets at students
Independent Newspapers 13 October 2010

Police fired rubber bullets at protesting students who disrupted exams and barricaded the entrance of the Lowveld College of Agriculture in Nelspruit. Photo: Independent Newspapers

Police fired rubber bullets at protesting students who disrupted exams and barricaded the entrance of the Lowveld College of Agriculture in Nelspruit on Wednesday.

“Students barricaded the entrance of the College with stones and burning paper. Nobody could enter the college. Police were forced to fire rubber bullets to disperse the crowd,” said Captain Klaas Maloka.

The rampage started on Wednesday morning when about 100 students refused to go to class and started protesting outside the gates of the college.

Maloka said no arrests were made and police did not receive any reports of students injured during the shooting.

“The situations has gone back to normal and the gates have been opened,” said Maloka.

Dumisani Mhlanga, president of the Student Representative Council, said students were supposed to begin writing their exams on Wednesday but decided to protest because they were unhappy with management.

“We are unhappy with the outdated curriculum. In March this year only nine students out of 50 got their diploma,” said Mhlanga.

He said the third year programme was ineffective and the books in the library were outdated.

“Accommodation and meals at the College are very expensive and it left much to be desired,” said Mhlanga.

Students would continue to protest until Mpumalanga MEC of agriculture, rural development and land administration Meshack Malinga intervened.

Mhlanga called upon the management of the college to resign and accused them of failing to run the college properly.

“The management takes a long time to respond to our problems. We will not go back to class until our demands are meet and the MEC intervenes.”

Mhlanga alleged that two students were injured during the shooting.

The college was not immediately available to comment. -
Sapa
www.iol.co.za


YCL GAUTENG SUPPORTS MARCH BY LICENSING DEPARTMENT WORKERS
SACP 14 OCTOBER 2010

The Young Communist League in Gauteng supports hundreds of workers who have found themselves unemployment due to the spontaneous decision taken by the licensing department last week to abandon the telephonic method of booking dates. The system had resulted in backlogs but equally its abandonment has resulted in a number of workers who were call-centre operators left despondent.

The Provincial secretary of the YCL in Gauteng, Alex Mashilo addressed the march and has made a full commitment in ensuring that the YCL assists workers in engaging the Gauteng government to find an amicable solution. We as the YCL believe that there are other departments over and above the Transport department which could absorb the workers.

Unemployment in South Africa continues on a sharp increase and young workers remain the first casualties, particularly those subjected to the administration and management of Labour brokers. We call upon the Licensing Department to find ways in which this matter can be addressed together with other various departments.

Issued by the YCL in Gauteng
Contact
Alex Mashilo
Provincial Secretary
0829200308
Gugu Ndima
+27 76 783 1516


Supply Chain Services/RTT Group Workers Strike
FAWU 14 October 2010

One hundred and fifty employees from Supply Chain Services , or RTT Group , as it is now known, a division of RTT Logistics, situated in Jet Park in Kempton Park has been engaged in legal strike action since Friday, 8 October 2010 as a result of a dispute between the two parties culminating from protracted negotiations about annual increases and bonuses. Workers are, as part of their protest action, picketing daily outside the premises.

The company, a national sales and distribution company operating in the food ,beverage and pharmaceutical industry, and who serves clients such as Bokomo Foods and Premier Foods, claims they do not have the finances to pay workers their much deserved annual increase and bonuses. The union is up in arms over the company’s poor treatment of workers despite the fact that they claim that they are people-orientated. It is clear to us that “people” do not include its workforce as it could not even award them even a cent last year by way of wage increase or a bonus. We believe that their directors have probably rewarded themselves generously while there seems to be no appreciation of employees.

FAWU will march to the company offices on Thursday next week to deliver a memorandum demanding answers to their demands.

Please call FAWU Gauteng Secretary Moleko Phakedi for more information on 082 492 5111 or phakedim@telkomsa.net for more information.

Released by : FAWU media office, Dominique Swartz -082 498 5631


YCLSA calls for Consumer Boycott of Pick and Pay Products in Solidarity with SACCAWU workers
SACP 14 OCTOBER 2010

The Young Communist League of South Africa (uFasimba) calls on all its members, and all members of COSATU Affilliates, ANC and its leagues (ANC YL, ANC WL and ANC VL) and the SACP to support the striking workers of Pick 'n Pay by engaging in a consumer boycott for the duration of the strike. We implore on all South Africans to join in on this consumer boycott as the profits they generate for Pick 'n Pay never trickles down to the working class and the poor.

The workers at Pick 'n Pay demand a living wage and better working conditions, which are a mere pittance compared to what the senior management, shareholders and the CEO of the company are earning in bonuses and dividends. This also happens when Pick 'n Pay has just recently declared huge profits from the same sweat and toil of the workers.

What’s more disturbing is Pick 'n Pay's attempts to refuse workers basic facilities such as toilets, a basic right accorded to workers on the picket line. It is this kind of attitude that will lead to workers resorting to violence in order to exercise their rights. More worrying is the fact that Pick 'n Pay want to buy workers with a bash worth R4 million, whilst they refuse to engage into a tangible living wage agreement.

We fully support the strike and plead members to heed the call. The Retail industry continues to be the leaders in exploitation and marginalisation of workers; it mainly consists of young workers. Hence we have made the call for banning of labour brokers as this sector has become their playing field to the detriment of workers.

Issued by the YCLSA Head office
Contact
Gugu Ndima
National Spokesperson
0767831516
Gugu Ndima
+27 76 783 1516


Residents, police stand-off in Tembisa
IolNews 14 October 2010

Angry protesters form Madelakufa informal settlement in Thembisa - Gauteng - vent their frustration outside the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality offices as they demand houses which were allegedly promised by President Jacob Zuma. Armed police and Metro police officers gathered on the property to keep the peace as fed-up residents waved placards and flags, shouted out their complaints and demanded to be heard by council officials. Photo: Andrew Royal, The Star
www.iol.co.za


Numsa call on its members to support Saccawu strike at Pick Pay
Numsa 13 October 2010

Numsa pledges its unequivocal support to Saccawu members at Pick Pay as they prepare for a protracted strike action for wage increases and improved working conditions.

Saccawu embarked on a three-day wage strike from the 24th -27th of September 2010 and the company had failed to respond to worker’s demands.

Numsa is disappointed that Pick n Pay management did not reach agreement on a number of issues including the number of workers to be allowed to picket inside stores and access to store ablution facilities and canteens during the strike. This is tantamount to denying workers their hard won right to strike with the necessary facilities available to striking workers. To deny workers toilets and water is simply barbaric.

Numsa condemns the hypocrisy displayed by the company’s decision to reinstate their annual year end function at the cost of R100 per employee. This is absolutely ridiculous given that the company is currently pleading poverty and resisting worker’s reasonable demands for increases. We categorically reject this misleading and dishonest motion. This is yet another outrageous attempt by Pick Pay to manipulate workers.

At a time when workers face unprecedented challenges to their jobs and conditions, it is bizarre that Pick Pay is focusing on restoring the year end function which they suspended four years ago. This will cost the company almost R4million.

We want to point out that these antics will not assist in resolving the wage increase and improved working conditions dispute.

Numsa calls on its members to offer full support and solidarity to Saccawu and embark on consumer boycott of Pick Pay until the strike is resolved.

Issued by:
Karl Cloete
Numsa Deputy General Secretary
083389077


Opposition marches on Parliament over secrecy bill
Wyndham Hartley, Business Day, Johannesburg, 13 October 2010

CAPE TOWN — An unprecedented march on Parliament by the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday was aimed at the government’s “secrecy bill” but was also sharply criticised by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The DA’s federal chairman, Wilmot James, led the march, which ended up at the main gates of Parliament in the space normally occupied by the likes of the Congress of South African Trade Unions and others not formally represented in the national legislature. He made a speech against the Protection of Information Bill.

The bill, which is before a special ad hoc committee of Parliament, proposes a new system for the classification of state information and contains draconian punishment for those publicising or possessing classified information. Calls for the inclusion of a public interest defence for journalists and whistle-blowers have been rejected by National Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele .

Dr James said South Africans were not free unless they knew what was going on in their country. “We need to know what our government is up to, because, if it is doing the wrong thing, we want to say so and demand that it be made right. State information is our information, not only the government’s.”

He said that the constitution guaranteed the right of access to information held by the state to all citizens, and that there was a law that already spelt out the conditions under which the state could refuse to divulge information.

“It is, for example, entirely proper to maintain secrecy about the president’s upcoming travel plans, which is why it is a monumental travesty of presidential confidentiality that the information reportedly can be found on the internet.

“It is not, however, a legitimate state secret to know how often the president has travelled over the last year, even where and at what cost,” Dr James said.

Mr Cwele and others in the ANC appeared “moved not by rational concern but by paranoia about leakers and peddlers of information”.

The office of ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said the DA’s decision to march was “puzzling”.

“The DA has always been, and continues to be, part of all parliamentary forums dealing with this bill through its representatives in this institution. It is unheard of that a political party organises a march against an institution within which it enjoys a significant representation,” Mr Motshekga said.
http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=123568


Community sees red over rates sham
Yoland? Stander WEEKEND POST REPORTER
11 October 2010

IMPOVERISHED residents of the tiny Eastern Cape town of Clarkson are
seeing red over municipal bills of up to R8‑million for land they do not
own and services they rarely receive.

Residents recently received bright red final letters of demand from the
beleaguered Kou‑Kamma Municipality ? which has been under administration
since April ? for outstanding municipal account payments, including
property taxes.

However, the municipality failed to transfer the land to individual
community members after it was donated by the Moravian Church in 2005.

After the decision had been taken to donate the land, the United States
Agency for International Development donated funds for the surveying of
the erven and the transfer of the land from the church.

The funding ? about R34000 ? for the transfers was paid over to the
municipality at the time.

But National Council of Provinces (NCOP) member Elza van Lingen, said:
?Until now these transfers have not been done and the municipality has
used all the funds.?

Clarkson is part of Van Lingen?s constituency area.

Most of the community members are unemployed or elderly and living off
small grants and pensions. These accounts ? ranging between R3000 and
R15000 per household ? far exceed their income, sparking fears that what
little they have will be repossessed.

Some have already been experiencing this, having been blacklisted. They
estimate the total amount the municipality claims it is owed is between
R2‑million and R8‑million.

The area?s tap water is of such poor quality that families are forced to
walk kilometres into the forest outside town to drink from the stream,
while rubbish remains uncollected for weeks on end, residents say.

The community has started withholding payments for municipal services in
protest against the land issue as well as poor service delivery.

The church has also subsequently refused to pay its municipal account,
saying the land did not belong to them anymore.

The Reverend John Cloete said the church had also received a final
letter of demand.

Most of the ?red letters? are inconsistent with the actual municipal
accounts the residents have been receiving.

?I don?t know where they get the figures on the red letters from and
every time we go to the municipal office to sort this out, they hide
from us,? said an angry Susan Goeda.

Susanna Minnies, whose letter of demand informed her she owed the
municipality R14904.58 in rates and taxes, said she was charged R3571
for water. ?I haven?t been living on that property or using the town?s
services for five years. I was in hospital for most of the time,? said
Minnies.

She said most of the residents used the church?s borehole water or
walked kilometres to get fresh water as the municipal water was undrinkable.

When Weekend Post visited the town this week, the tap water was brown
and smelly. ?The kids don?t want to bath in this water. When you wash
your hands they start to stink,? said resident Andries Stuurman.

He said he was afraid of what the municipality could do if they did not
pay the accounts. ?We don?t have much. The houses we live in are all we
have. What would happen if they came and took that away from us??
Stuurman said.

Goeda?s daughter, Claudette du Plessis, is one of the residents who has
already felt the impact of the situation. She has been blacklisted. ?She
wanted to apply for a home loan but was turned down. She didn?t even
know she was blacklisted up until then. It was embarrassing,? said Goeda.

The matter went to court and the court ordered the municipality to look
into the communities? concerns and try to find a solution.

Several attempts to obtain comment from the Kou‑Kamma Municipality have
proved unsuccessful.


Unionised civil servants reject final wage offer
SAMANTHA ENSLIN-PAYNE 13 October 2010

Government deal unsigned, labour leaders to seek new mandates today

The government's final wage offer to civil servants was not signed by the deadline yesterday as a majority could not be secured among the 19 public service unions.

Chris Klopper, the chairman of the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC), said last night there was no mandate to sign and so it was decided that unions would go back to members today for a fresh mandate.

Cosatu's joint mandating committee, which represents eight public sector unions, and the ILC, which represents 11 unions, will meet late today to take stock.

Klopper said what the union members who opted not to sign did not seem to understand was that if the wage agreement was not signed by a majority the employer had no imperative to implement the deal, including the 7.5 percent wage increase.

Dumisani Nkwamba, the spokesman for Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi, said earlier yesterday that the minister remained confident a 50.1 percent majority would be achieved to enable the government to implement the settlement offer.

Sizwe Pamla, the spokesman for the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), said all Cosatu public service unions, barring the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), intended to sign. But without Sadtu there was no majority.

Likewise, in terms of the ILC unions, Hospersa and the Public Servants Association (PSA) will not sign, meaning the ILC does not have a majority. Hospersa and the PSA represent 280 000 of the ILC's 460 000 members.

Noel Desfontaines, the general secretary of Hospersa, said that the union would not sign as members were not prepared to settle for less than their demands after being on strike and losing pay.

The government signed the agreement last month after unions suspended the 20-day strike to consider the final offer that provided state employees a 7.5 percent wage increase and a housing allowance of R800 a month.

When negotiations began in April, unions demanded an 11 percent wage increase and a R1 650 monthly housing allowance. This was later revised down to an 8.6 percent salary increase and a R1 000 housing allowance. Unions had until yesterday to sign.

But Sadtu spokeswoman Nomusa Cembi said earlier this week: "We are not signing as we could not get a mandate to do so."

Sadtu has formally called off the strike, which public service unions suspended on September 6.

"The government can go ahead and implement, but we have registered our unhappiness. The government does not have our blessing," Cembi said.

Manie de Clercq, the deputy general manager of the PSA, said: "We are not going to be signing. Our members have not agreed to the offer."

But Nehawu's Pamla said of the need for unions to rethink their stance: "The wage deal is not what we wanted but we need to open a new chapter", referring to the need to start wage negotiations for next year.
www.busrep.co.za


Angry residents want houses
Gill Gifford 13 October 2010

Hundreds of residents from the Madelakufa squatter camp surrounded the Ekhuruleni Municipality's Tembisa Customer Care Centre to demand houses.

Armed police and Metro police officers gathered on the property to keep the peace as angry residents waved placards and flags, shouted out their complaints and demanded to be heard by council officials.

The residents handed over a memorandum of demands, insisting that 2 500 of Madelakufa's estimated 8 000 residents be immediately relocated to houses at nearby Strydom Land, referred to as “our promised land”.

Newman Mkhumalo has been waiting for a house since 1990, and currently lives in a two-roomed shack. He has eight children and five grandchildren.

“This is wrong. They have been selling our houses. I am 68 years old and can die at any time. I have been waiting for 20 years and might never see a house,” he said on Wednesday morning as he joined in the angry protests.

Toyi-toying residents chanted, sang and waved crude placards.

“Let the poor survive. What the hell is you councillors? You undermine our president” read the largest cardboard placard held at the forefront of the group.

Resident Jeannette Shingange said squatter camp residents were angry because they had been visited by President Jacob Zuma in June, and promised delivery of houses by this November.

“We went to Strydom Land and they are not ready,” she said.

Shingangane qualifies for a low cost house and has been registered and waiting for one since 1996.

“I have been waiting for 14 years now. It's too long,” she said.

The memorandum handed over to housing department officials called for the 2 473 Madelakufa residents who are officially registered for houses to be moved as soon as possible.

“Now the report says 470 are to be first allocated to phase one, we say no because we have been robbed of that kind of criteria,” stated the memorandum signed by Madelakufe chairman Robson Lugongolo.

His deputy Cyprian Malatji said they were promised by Ekhuruleni housing officials that they would be given a formal, written response tomorrow in which the plan for the way forward would be laid out and properly explained to them.

Satisfied with this response, residents withdrew from the area and returned home.

“This is what we want. To be involved in the process of the development of Madelakufa. Not to be fed false promises. But I can see we are still going to fight with these people,” he said.

Malatji said residents would wait for the official response to their demands by the Ekhuruleni authorities before taking further action. - The Star
www.iol.co.za


Pick n Pay staff prepare to picket
Mail & Guardian 13 October 2010

About 27 000 Pick n Pay employees are preparing to go on a protracted strike after the company failed to meet their demands, their union Saccawu said on Tuesday.

"We have applied to the CCMA [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] for the establishment of picket rules in preparation for a protracted strike action," the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union said in a statement.

A CCMA sitting last Wednesday could not agree on the number of workers to be allowed to picket inside stores and workers' access to store toilet facilities and canteens during the strike.

The parties would meet again on October 26 to draw up picket rules.

The union said the employer was expecting workers to not get wage increases in 2011 and 2012, but merely an adjustment in their wages equal to the inflation rate.

Workers however wanted a R550 a month increase -- or 12%, a 10% staff discount on basic food items, increased working hours to about 120 per month for part-time workers, and a one-year wage agreement.

The union also wanted an end to the use of labour brokers and the establishment of a centralised bargaining forum for the retail and wholesale sector.

"While the company has been silent on the workers' wage demands and in an attempt to buy loyalty with the hope of deflating workers' determination to go on strike, it decided to reinstate the annual year-end function, suspended four years ago because it was too costly.

"This will cost the company almost R4-million."

Saccawu said such a move, at the time when the company pleaded poverty and resisted workers' "reasonable" demands for wage increases, was "disingenuous" and should be viewed as an attempt to break the impending strike planned by workers.

"This is a clear display of hypocrisy and reveals the company's intentions to enforce low wages upon already poor workers.

"We reject this attempt from management to try and bribe workers and call on the company to engage in honest and meaningful negotiations with Saccawu," the union said.

Pick n Pay was not immediately available for comment.

Saccawu members would continue to hold meetings over the next two weeks to prepare for strike action and consider the company's position on picket rules. - Sapa
www.mg.co.za


4000 miners to down tools over death
NUM 12 October 2010

Over 4000 mineworkers will tomorrow down tools at Lonmin in Rustenburg. This is in protest over a mineworker who died at the Newman shaft at Lonmin after what was reported as a fall of ground. This is in accordance with the NUM resolution that says each time a mineworker loses his life, a day of mourning will be observed. Workers will tomorrow not pitch up for work and will gather at the Lonmin Arena at 9H00 in the morning for a memorial service and will later dispatch to their respective homes.

Lesiba Seshoka
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
7 Rissik Street ,JOHANNESBURG
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719

Hospersa rejects state wage offer
Business Report 12 October 2010

The Health And Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) will not be signing the government's wage offer, the union said on Tuesday.

"Our members made sacrifices to go on strike and to fight for the right to a decent living, and this is the mandate they have given us," Hospersa general secretary Noel Desfontaines said in a statement.

"The anger of workers has long been brewing as government continues with its talk-left, walk-right approach to economic policy, that has failed to prioritise the country's socio-economic needs."

The mandate for union members dealt with the issue of whether to sign the government's wage offer, spokeswoman Michelle Connolly said.

The option of further strike action may form the basis for a separate mandate, she said.

The union said it stood by its demand for an 8.6 percent increase and R1 000 housing allowance.

Last week the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) also rejected government's wage offer.

However, the union said it would not embark on industrial strike action and had formally ended the current strikes.

The state has offered a 7.5 percent wage increase and R800 housing allowance. - Sapa
www.busrep.co.za


Cape Town set for month of protests
Western Cape News 11 October 2010

In response to a call by anti-eviction campaign group Abahlali BaseMjondolo protests in Cape Town township have caused hundreds of thousands of rands damage and resulted in a Golden Arrow bus being torched.Replacing the bus alone would could R1million, said Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke.

Residents of informal settlements have been called to protest against the slow pace of service delivery by the activist group, ahead of a planned rally on October 28 when a memorandum of grievances will be handed over to Parliament.

Khayelitsha’s Lansdowne Fire Station suffered R15 000 worth of damages after protesters pelted it with rocks on Monday, shattering glass and damaging fire engines.

Traffic lights, street signs have been vandalized and vendor’s stalls in Philippi have been set alight.

City of Cape Town communication manager Charles Cooper said the money spent fixing damaged property could have used for service delivery.

He described the protest action as “crazy”.

“I don’t know what the people are trying to achieve when they damage and vandalise government property,” said Cooper.

He said damages ran into hundreds of thousands of rand, but actual figures would be released in a month’s time.

Abahlali BaseMjondolo Western Cape chairperson Mzonke Poni said the protests were occurring in Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.

On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights last week protestors burnt tyres and refuse in the streets, blockaded main roads and strew garbage across roads.

Further protests are expected this week and sporadically throughout the month.

Regarding the cost of damages, Poni said they “could not becompared with the cost of damages that affects us on a daily basis”.

“Everyday people die in shack fires caused by a lack of electricity in informal settlements, and people are victims of communicable infections such as TB which are caused by unhygienic conditions that people live with on a daily basis.

“We are saying no one can put a value in a human life.”

Poni said he congratulates the residents of Khayelitsha’s Enkani informal settlement for closing Baden Powel drive last week, residents of TR informal settlement for closing Mew Way road, RR informal settlement for closing Lansdowne road for more than three days, and Philippi residents who have been consistently blockading roads in the area.

Khayelitsha Police spokesperson Anneke Van der Vyver said seven people had been arrested in Khayelitsha in connection with the protests that started on October 1, while Nyanga police station spokesperson Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said eight suspects had been arrested in Philippi.

Charges included public violence and damage to property. – Sandiso Phaliso, West Cape News
westcapenews.com

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