Police disperse protesters after partly built shacks removed

A rubble-strewn road in Kuyga where protests took place on Wednesday after partly built shacks were removed
ROAD BLOCKED: A rubble-strewn road in Kuyga where protests took place on Wednesday after partly built shacks were removed
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

Residents from the Kuyga community in Nelson Mandela Bay took to the streets on Wednesday in protest, after several partly built shacks were removed in the area.

Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said about 150 protesters blockaded Old Cape Road in Kuyga with burning tyres and rubble.

“Public order police were in attendance and a stun grenade was fired to disperse the crowd, no arrests were made but police are still monitoring the situation.”

Police denied allegations that protesters were made to clear the roads of rubble, burning tyres and stones but said other community people did assist in cleaning the debris.

Municipal spokesperson Mamela Ndamase said there were land grabs in Kuyga which were illegal and the shacks were subsequently removed.

“The land invasion unit is responsible to prevent land grabs as per its institutional mandate. No-one in SA has a right to go and grab land.

“If the community feels its rights were violated, it has a right to approach the court, human rights commission or any other institution,” Ndamase said.

She, however said no fully built structures were demolished in the area concerned.

The removal of the partly built shacks on Wednesday morning comes after warnings to the invaders and further advise to stop. The team then removed the few frames that were there, Ndamase said.

“With informal housing, there is a procedure in place that regulates allocation of land. This includes a system that has been developed to register all housing needs.

“The system is designed to prioritise the needs as guided by the national housing allocation guidelines.

“The system therefore seeks to effectively use the limited resources available.”

Ndamase said there was a plan for the shack dwellers.

“Concerning the intervention, the municipality through land planning has embarked on the process of obtaining authorisation for a development in Ward 40.

“There is also a process of acquiring more land for housing. But allocation will be done within the procedures in place,” Ndamase said.

- HeraldLIVE

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