Hundreds of residents from 13 informal settlements in Oukasie in Brits in the North West province marched to the Madibeng municipality on Thursday, demanding the formalisation of their settlement.
“Informal settlements have been around since 1998, we want all informal settlement to be formalised and provided with services,” said Percy Gwebu, chairperson of the informal settlement committee.
Protesters chanted in front of the municipal building, while waiting for the delegates from North West Premier Job Mokgoro’s office to receive their memorandum of demands.
“We are handing over this memorandum to the premier [Job Mokgoro], not Madibeng municipality. We have marched several times as individual informal settlements, but to date, the municipality is yet to respond to our demands,” Gwebu said.
In the memorandum, informal dwellers wanted land to be purchased for their settlement, and they also demanded houses, access to water and electricity.
Reading the memorandum, Lindiwe Malatsi said they wanted all churches occupying land to be removed and the land given to people.
“We believe municipal officials are benefiting from these foreign churches. We want the churches removed and the land they occupied be given to people,” she said.
They said they would not vote in the general election on May 8 if their demands were not met.
The marchers gave Mokgoro seven working days to reply to their memorandum or else they would stage further protests, including shutting down Brits.
Letlhogile Moseki received the memorundum on behalf of Mokgoro and promised that the premier would look at the grievances and demands.
The march on Thursday followed a shutdown by taxi operators on Wednesday. Taxi drivers blocked all entry points in Brits with minibus taxis during the court appearance of ten people who were arrested following a “raid” by taxi drivers last week on suspected drug dealers.
Ten of them were arrested. Two were released on warning and eight were granted R400 bail each.
Taxi drivers removed the minibus taxis later in the afternoon.
– African News Agency (ANA)