Monday got off to a bad start for residents in Ottery, as traffic was disrupted due to violent protests. Old Strandfontein road and Olieboom road near Makro was blockaded by residents burning tyres, allegedly over housing concerns. Authorities have confirmed that 20 people, mostly women, have been arrested and all roads have been opened. Law enforcement and Metro police are still on the scene.
Demonstrators are disconcerted over the delays in the development of the Edward Road Housing Project in Ottery. Grassy park CPF spokesperson Phillip Bam said the anger of the protestors is misdirected as the whole community is suffering.
“We want to inform the people that there is undertaking by the Mayor that the housing problem is being attended to. So authorities must attend to the genuine concerns of the people.”
But he said the protests are causing an inconvenience for the law-abiding citizens that need to get to work and school.
“We want police and law enforcement to take action. It’s unnecessary that these things are allowed to happen. We know that the unrest will flare up again and yet there is no proactive action by the authorities. Our people using the roads are being threatened and this is not fair on our citizens. If there is lawlessness and criminality, law-abiding citizens must be protected.”
The City of Cape Town says it’s currently in the planning and design phase of the housing project in Ottery. Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi, says construction will start next year.
“We are currently on the planning phase. We have recently appointed consultants to do designs, because the designs that are there, we have found out that they are more expensive when it comes to funding them. So now we have appointed new consultants who are doing planning and design. We have briefed the consultants to expedite the process and we should be on site doing construction in the next 18 months.”