Service protests turn ugly

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

Police have arrested 20 Orange Farm residents after a protest march against the lack of service delivery in the area.

The protesters barricaded roads with burning tyres, rocks and tree branches until police fired rubber bullets to force them to disperse yesterday.

They demanded roads, housing, water, electricity and sanitation.

The residents did not mince words as they called on ward councillor Meisie Simango to step down.

Fikile Ngcobo, a resident, said: "We don't want Simango in our area anymore. She has done nothing but bring pain into our lives.

"We have been staying here for more than a decade but there isn't any positive change at all."

The protesters even threatened to boycott next year's elections and called on Joburg mayor Amos Masondo to intervene.

Joseph Shoko said: "We do not have a proper water supply and are still relying on water tanks from the municipality."

In May, residents barricaded the busy Golden Highway and demanded basic service delivery.

They burnt tyres and electricity pylons and used rocks and tree branches to halt traffic.

As the demonstrations progressed motorists were forced to use alternative routes.

Police spokesman Constable Edwin Ntsheo said the Orange Farm protesters were expected to appear in the Vereeniging magistrates' court soon on charges of public violence.