Police monitor Soweto protests

Protesters block the road with burning tyres in Soweto.
Protesters block the road with burning tyres in Soweto.
Image: TANKISO MAKHETHA

The situation in Soweto is calm as police continue to monitor parts of Johannesburg south where protests erupted this morning. 

Residents barricaded major roads in and around Soweto, disrupting the flow of traffic as they protested for houses, services delivery and education in the region. 

Mpho Moemi, a resident in Pimville said they wanted houses and the discontinuation of prepaid electricity. 

“We want houses that were promised to us and we don’t want to use prepaid electricity because it’s expensive. We are also against water metres,” Moemi said. 

The protests were triggered by a WhatsApp message that circulated on the application since the weekend. 

Protesters are claiming that their issues are taken lightly by the government and have vowed to continue protesting until their demands are met. 

Residents of Eldorado Park, Freedom Park and surrounding areas blocked roads with burning tyres and rubble on May 2 2018 in protest over service delivery issues.

Mvuselelo Mngxuma, a Freedom Park community leader said that the issues that compelled them to take to the stories arise from a lack of communication from the government after promises were made to them to build them houses, improve the education system, and clarify what is to happen with Eskom electricity prepaid metres. 

“Last year the Johannesburg South region was fighting for land, housing and corruption. We did lot of things including marching to get the government’s attention so they can see our plight,” Mgxuma said. 

He explained that high ranking politicians including Paul Mashatile, the former Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements. 

“We had meetings with them, first at UJ in Soweto then later at Nasrec in November and they said they would give us 48 000 stands after evaluating a piece of land for us but there hasn’t been any feedback from them,” he said. 

He said residents have been left fuming and have thus opted to protest. 

Police have been firing rubber bullets in a bid to disperse the crowd and clear the debris and burning tyres. 

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