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Watch: Angelo residents swarm Boksburg CBD in protest against relocation

Thousands of protesters descended on the Boksburg CBD on Tuesday morning, as part of a march against the municipality’s plan to relocate their homes to Knights.

Demonstrators converged on Main Reef Road, where they started chanting anti-government slogans and singing liberation struggle songs – Ayasab’ amagwala (the cowards are scared) and dubula, dubula (shoot, shoot) – while also blocking traffic on Tuesday morning, July 11.

Escorted by members of the SAPS and EMPD, the sea of protesters then marched along Main Reef Road towards Boksburg North, turned into Trichardts Road and proceeded to the Boksburg Civic Centre, where they delivered a memorandum of demands to the municipality.

A group of community leaders, who acted as marshals, and the police in several vehicles kept an eye on the protesters as they marched to the civic centre.

While the majority of the energetic protesters remained disciplined during the march, there were some sporadic instances whereby a small group of protesters attempted to attack motorists and passers-by.

However, the group of marshals and police prevented them from turning the march into thuggery.

According to one of the community leaders, Thomas Sibuyi, the municipality wants to relocate the community to the piece of land next to Waverley Care Centre – Knights, Germiston – as a temporary arrangement.

Residents are, however, against the plan.

“The municipality wants to move the people to the piece of land in Knights, as an emergency temporary accommodation until construction works on the permanent serviced stands in Comet Extension 17 are completed,” said Sibuyi.

“But we, as the community, are against that move. It is a waste of time and taxpayers’ money. All we want is to be moved to a permanent place within our ward.

“They can’t take us to another ward, we won’t allow that. The people here are more than willing to wait until the municipality has finished preparing the permanent serviced stands for us in Comet.”

Sibuyi added that moving the community to Knights will mean that children will have to travel long distances to their current schools.

He also mentioned that the area is unsafe as it is riddled with open disused mineshafts and located near an operational gold mine.

Some of the residents complained that they had been living in appalling conditions in the bushes (Angelo Mission) like animals for years.

“We were promised better lives many times during the previous elections, but nothing has happened. We say no to false relocation to a temporary place,” said another disgruntled community leader, Madoba Mboneni.

Residents demanded that action be taken by the mayor by Friday, and failure to do so will leave them with no choice but to fight back.

The memorandum was signed and accepted by Londi Nkosi, from the office of MMC for Finance and Economic Development Doctor Xakaza. He promised residents that he will see to it that they get their response by Friday.

No injuries were reported and no one was arrested during the march.

It was furthermore reported that residents of Germiston are also against the establishment of an informal settlement in their area.

The Advertiser’s sister newspaper, the Germiston City News, has reported that an application to obtain an interdict to stop the Angelo move is currently under way in the Johannesburg High Court. -@FanieFLK

You may also be interested in:

Motorists urged to avoid the Angelo informal settlement area

View gallery here: Angelo residents say ‘no’ to relocations of their homes to Germiston

 

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