Angry scenes in three Bay protests

Hendrick Mphande

DISGRUNTLED Kleinskool residents promised to make the area ungovernable as they protested against appalling living conditions yesterday.

The area was one of three in Nelson Mandela Bay that were filled with thick, black smoke as protesters in Kleinskool, Veeplaas and Helenvale burnt tyres and blocked roads.

In the Govan Mbeki-Kleinskool informal settlement, four protesters were arrested for public violence after residents blocked the Old Grahamstown Road leading into the area with burning tyres.

Angry youths demanding electricity, proper housing and an end to the bucket system threw stones and litter onto the road.

Ward 33 councillor Deidre Bruintjies was in a meeting and not available for comment.

Community leader Fredrick Jonas said residents were tired of empty promises by officials while they continued to live in appalling conditions.

“It cannot drag on like this. If the councillor and the municipality do not listen to our grievances, the people will continue with this action. We will make it ungovernable,” he said.

The police told the residents to disperse, but the protesters regrouped on another section of the road and burnt more tyres.

Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said: “They [protesters] were warned but proceeded to burn tyres in the street. They are now facing a charge of public violence and will appear in court tomorrow.”

In Veeplaas, about 150 people burnt tyres at the corner of Kani and Koyana roads. Police spokesman Captain Andre Beegte said the group objected to the list of people who had been employed by Water Affairs.

“They did not agree with the procedure followed. They decided to block the road and burnt tyres, but dispersed peacefully after negotiation with officials.”

In Stanford Road, more than 20 Helenvale residents took to the streets under the watchful eyes of heavily armed police officers. They were demanding houses and jobs, but dispersed peacefully after 9.30am.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron was unable to comment last night.

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