“He said we can rebuild our shacks and live here. He promised to give us toilets, water and electricity”
By Mkhuseli Sizani
By 3am on Monday 28 October 2019 about 200 people from Bobani informal settlement, Gungunguluza, had shut down Rocklands and Alexander roads in Uitenhage with burning tyres and rocks. They were demanding basic services including electricity.
Police used rubber bullets to disperse the protesters and then extinguished the burning barricades.
“Our mayor, Mongameli Bobani, came and addressed us after our shacks were demolished [in January],” said Noxolo Fisonti. “He said we can rebuild our shacks and live here. He promised to give us toilets, water and electricity.”
In February, GroundUp reported on the settlement named after Bobani. It was formed by backyard shack dwellers from various wards in Uitenhage after Bobani froze all evictions in the Nelson Mandela Bay area.
Ward Councillor Siphiwo Plaatjies (ANC) said, “I can confirm that Mayor Bobani did visit the area twice this year. His first visit was after the residents demanded to meet with him … because some of their material was missing after their shacks were demolished.
“He then granted