'Protest planned so our voices will be heard'

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Angry Khayelitsha residents have slammed claims by Cope that the ANC "instigated" communities to protest about service delivery to destabilise the soon-to-be formed DA-led provincial government.

Last week hundreds of residents barricaded the city's busy Lansdowne Road for two nights with burning tyres and garbage, demanding houses, electricity and sanitation.

Over the weekend, people dug several trenches across the road, making it impossible for motorists to travel to their destinations.

A Cope organiser who preferred not to be named told Sowetan that the ANC had "instigated the protests just to put pressure on [Hellen] Zille's government".

But the leader of Khayalitsha's newly formed "Site C and BT Section mass movement", Nino Qudalele, said residents had decided weeks ago to hold a protest immediately after the elections.

"We planned it so that those who are newly elected would hear our voices immediately," Qudalele said.

"Seeing that the DA has won the Western Cape and is already in control of Cape Town, we want them to come to the realisation that they must deliver," he said.

"Since 1994 we did everything by the book, going to Sanco, going to councillors - but it is only now that we managed to get their attention. If someone can come and assist us then we will be glad, we don't care which party they are from."

Resident Noncedo Bulala backed him up, saying the protest was not led by a political party.

"It is only the people who are sick and tired of staying here," she said.

She said the protest action had been called off yesterday.

ANC chairperson Mcebisi Skwatsha told Sowetan that "it is a big joke to suggest the action was started by the ANC".

He said those trying to blame the ANC were "undermining" genuine concerns about service delivery. People are saying "they need attention, they need houses".

Skwatsha was set to visit the area last night in a bid to "quell any future protests".