From the news desk

Update: Hout Bay protest turns violent

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Informally housed residents in Hout Bay have once again taken to the streets to have their demands heard. Over the weekend, angry protestors began protest action, resulting in the closure of Victoria Road between the circle and Hout Bay Main Road. Chapman’s Peak Drive was also closed and MyCity and Golden Arrow services were suspended. On Monday, residents set rubble alight at Victoria Road, once again affecting traffic.

Protests erupted on Saturday when community members erected structures blocking traffic. This following a huge fire that engulfed the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in March, forcing displaced residents to be relocated to a shorts field within the area. Residents are reportedly protesting over a lack of electricity within the area and for decent formal housing.

The City’s Alderman JP Smith says the situation has turned unacceptably violent.

“The situation in Hout Bay has become very serious, and it is clear it has now entered the realm of sheer criminality; rioters have moved into side streets, overturned cars, smashed windows , and an attack on an old age home was narrowly averted.”

Frustrated residents destroyed a number of structures; this in a bid to call attention to the lack of basic needs required this winter.

“The city’s law enforcement and disaster management mobile units that were used as kitchens for the victims on the sports field have been completely destroyed. The City has called on SAPS senior provincial leadership to intervene urgently to ensure that people are arrested, that people have been detained and that prosecution happens. The City’s water canon from Metro Police has been dispatched and the SAPS water canon has also arrived.”

Smith confirmed that every available City traffic, law enforcement, and Metro Police resource has been dispatched to Hout Bay in an attempt to contain the situation, adding that the provincial public order policing unit from SAPS is also on the scene.

“The City calls on the SAPS to please ensure that the video footage of protestors engaging in public violence and damaging state and private property is used to affect arrests and to ensure that such individuals are prosecuted – their behaviour is simply unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in a democratic dispensation,” Smith continued.

VOC 91.3fm

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