Hangberg unrest stabilised, after burning of crèche and destruction of structures

The neighbourhood of Hangberg | © AFP | RODGER BOSCH

Residents started protesting after City of Cape Town officials demolished an incomplete structure built by a local

Despite incidents of stone throwing in the Hout Bay area on Saturday morning, unrest in which buildings were set alight on Friday night has stabilised, according to police.

Residents clashed with the police on Friday evening and a crèche was torched, allegedly in in retaliation for the demolition of a half-built structure.

This followed an incident last week when an incomplete structure built by a resident was torn down due to it being built “illegally”, the City of Cape Town said. On Friday, residents were reportedly angered after the semi-completed home was again torn down.Hangberg creche burns down. Supplied Chad Solomons

Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said officers were deployed in Hangberg to police “a riotous situation sparked by a housing dispute”.

“Buildings were set alight and damage to infrastructure has being caused. The circumstances surrounding the public violence are being investigated and no one has been arrested as yet. The situation has since been stabilised and no further incidents of violence or protest were reported his morning,” said Traut.

On Saturday morning, City traffic services spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout confirmed that there had been reports of stone throwing in the area.

Last week, the police and residents also clashed after the half-built structure was torn down.

GroundUp reported last week that it was being built by a man whose family has lived in Hangberg for two decades. They stay opposite the plot of the land. He was handed a notice on 3 June to remove the structure from the City-owned land.

Last week, councillor Rob Quintas said no one was being evicted, but rather only illegal, unoccupied and incomplete structures were being demolished.

The mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, last week said the City was legally allowed to prevent land invasions and condemned violent protest action.

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