IN PICS | 'We want house numbers' Lamontville protests enter day two

21 July 2020 - 11:16 By Orrin Singh and Sandile Ndlovu

Protests erupted for a second day in Lamontville, south of Durban, on Tuesday.

Community leader Phumlani Mxhokozo told TimesLIVE the protests were spurred by a lack of electricity, water and house numbering, which would allow residents to be given official addresses.

“We are striking for electricity and water. We don't want izinyoka nyoka (illegal connections) because our children our dying. We also want proper house numbers for our shacks.”

Mxhokozo claimed the local ward councillor, Nobabalu Mthembu, had failed to address their needs. "She doesn't come to us, she doesn't engage with us or find out what we need. We don't even know what she looks like.” 

He said community leaders had arranged to meet Mthembu to find an amicable way forward.  

Lamontville has in recent years been plagued by ongoing service delivery protests.

In 2009 TimesLIVE's sister publication, SowetanLIVE, reported on violent protests in the area related to the allocation of housing, with residents calling for Mthembu's resignation.

Mthembu did not respond to queries on Tuesday morning.  

The situation in the township remained volatile on Tuesday as a tense standoff between hundreds of community members and a handful of police officers took centre stage in Radebe Street.

Police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele said police were in the process of making arrangements for community leaders to meet the councillor.

“Protests are still in progress. There was a crowd of more than 500 people on Radebe Street this morning. Police and metro police are still dispersing the crowd. The situation is being monitored.”

Mbele said two people were arrested on Monday for public violence and seven counts of malicious damage to property.

“They will appear in court today (Tuesday)." 

This comes after the situation took a turn for the worse on Monday morning when protesters targeted the Sizakala centre, which houses SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) offices and a clinic, and petrol-bombed six government vehicles.

Mbele said three of the vehicles belonged to the department of social development and the other three to metro police.


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