National 20.3.2017 02:11 pm

DA calls for calm in Soweto housing protest

A young man jumps of a rock during a protest in Mofolo North, Soweto, 17 June 2014. Residents blocked roads and burnt tyres complaining of repeated instances of electricity outages without any notice from the municipality. Picture: Refilwe Modise

A young man jumps of a rock during a protest in Mofolo North, Soweto, 17 June 2014. Residents blocked roads and burnt tyres complaining of repeated instances of electricity outages without any notice from the municipality. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The protesters were angry about the eviction of illegal land invaders from Mzimhlophe by the DA-led City of Johannesburg.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday called for calm in Mzihlophe, Soweto, following protest action that saw parts of the highway in and out of the township being closed off due to violence.

The protest left Soweto commuters stranded on Monday after Metrorail train services between New Canada, Dube and Mzimhlophe were suspended during peak hours as protesters used burning tyres and rocks to close roads.

The protesters were angry about the eviction of illegal land invaders from Mzimhlophe by the DA-led City of Johannesburg.

DA constituency head of Soweto East, Tsepo Mhlongo, called on Mzimhlophe residents to work with the City to address their concerns instead of resorting to violence.

Mhlongo said the City was taking steps through its low-income housing programme to ensure that residents were given access to housing as a matter of urgency.

“Examples of the DA-led City of Joburg housing plans include R41 million more budgeted to electrify informal settlements, R219 million more allocated by Mayor Mashaba’s government to use in the purchase of property in the inner city for refurbishment into low-cost rental housing for 1 164 families,” Mhlongo said.

“In order for the stated plans to be realised, residents need to refrain from violence and allow the City to proceed with the full implementation of its housing programme. The DA assures residents that progress in delivery of housing opportunities is being made by the DA-led government.”

Mhlongo said Mashaba had already made it clear that low-cost housing was one of the top priorities of his administration and had issued more than 2 000 title deeds to homeowners in Johannesburg’s high-density suburbs since taking office.

“The mayor is fully committed to fulfilling his vision of a fair and caring city, where the dignity of residents is prioritised,” Mhlongo said.

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