Cops fire rubber bullets as protesters barricade streets
A 13-year-old boy suffered a rubber bullet wound when a protest by residents of KwaMancinza, north of Durban, turned violent.
The Ntuzuma area came to a complete standstill yesterday when hundreds of residents blockaded streets in protest against "lack of service delivery".
they burnt tyres and blockaded streets and the local bus depot with bricks, preventing transport services from operating.
The boy was caught in a volley of rubber bullets fired by the police in an attempt to disperse the protesters.
He was taken to a clinic, while about 12 residents were arrested for public violence and later released.
Several other residents sustained rubber bullet wounds.
The protesters also threatened not to vote in the coming elections if their lives did not improve.
Students and workers also joined in the march. Garbage was thrown all on the roads.
The angry residents demanded that eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba should accept the memorandum listing their grievances and tell them when they would get RDP houses, clean water and sanitation.
Remant Alton, the biggest bus operator in the area, was forced to suspend operations, leaving many commuters in KwaMashu stranded.
Mamsie Nxumalo, who "lived in a shack for more than 20 years", said the residents held a march last year over the lack of service delivery but "nothing had improved".
Most residents live in shacks, although some have managed to build brick homes.
"Our children must walk long distances to go to school in neighbouring townships," Nxumalo said.
The protest ended when the municipality speaker, James Nxumalo, arrived to address the residents.
Nxumalo presented the community with a letter from the office of the MEC for education, promising they would build a school in the area.
Regarding the housing project, Nxumalo said they were busy with plans to allocate a budget to build RDP houses.