'WE WANT HOUSES'

ROAD CLOSED: Residents of Organe Farm burn tyres and block the roads during protests over lack of service delivery in the township yesterday.  19/05/2009. Pic. Sechaba Nhlapo. © Sowetan.
ROAD CLOSED: Residents of Organe Farm burn tyres and block the roads during protests over lack of service delivery in the township yesterday. 19/05/2009. Pic. Sechaba Nhlapo. © Sowetan.

About 2000 Orange Farm residents, south of Johannesburg, staged a march yesterday to highlight their concerns over service delivery, police said.

About 2000 Orange Farm residents, south of Johannesburg, staged a march yesterday to highlight their concerns over service delivery, police said.

Police Inspector Molefe Mokoena said the protesters marched through extensions four and 10 of the impoverished township and burnt tyres that they used as barricades.

"People are angry," said Orange Farm crisis community spokesperson Bricks Mokolo.

"This was not what we were expecting after being ignored by the apartheid government," he said. "We thought after liberation we would be empowered by everything."

Mokolo said the discrimination in development plans for black and white people during the apartheid era had been replaced by discrimination between the rich and poor.

"And in Orange Farm we're not happy about it. We want houses and parks, and the use of prepaid electricity and water meters mean that only people with money can count on accessing these services," he said.

"Prepaid services discriminate against the poor," Mokolo said.

He said the developments taking place in the township was "sub-standard".

He said residents were tired of delivering memorandums of grievances to the authorities, arguing that this was "useless".

They felt that the authorities only discussed service delivery with businesses, not with the communities.

"So we are blockading. This is our way of raising our voices.

"The meetings are useless. During election campaigning political parties talked about service delivery - they had manifestos - but it's all on paper," said Mokolo, adding that these concerns were found across the country, not just in Orange Farm. - Sapa

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