SIMMERING tensions among Motherwell residents over service delivery boiled over onto the Port Elizabeth township’s streets yesterday, with nine people arrested for public violence and an elderly woman admitted to hospital.
Police were forced to close the roads and shoot at protesters with rubber bullets after they burnt tyres along the Addo Road and in Ngedle Street yesterday morning.
As a result, many non-protesting residents missed work.
Resident Zintle Galada said they had nowhere to go after their shacks were dismantled yesterday.
“We were burning tyres because we want houses. I have been waiting for nine years and there are some people older than me who have been waiting much longer,” she said.
Yesterday’s protest relates to an incident last week in which an angry mob disrupted preparation work for an RDP housing development in Motherwell. Although the municipality had already set about developing the land near Tyinira Road to build houses, about 300 residents settled there on Tuesday last week, armed with equipment to erect shacks.
Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said Human Settlements officials had a meeting with community leaders and it was “unanimously” agreed the leaders would go back to the residents and ensure the illegal structures were demolished and the people moved from the site.
If residents failed to comply, the municipality would be allowed to execute a court interdict forcing residents to take down the structures and vacate the land.
However, the residents were not happy with this. They refused to leave and planned to hire a lawyer to help
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