Angry protesters burn tyres at PE City Hall

Qunu informal settlement residents have given City three days to respond to their demands

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Residents from Qunu informal settlement run as police fire a stun grenade outside City Hall. The group were protesting after officials failed to show up for a planned survey of the settlement on Monday. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

The area outside the City Hall in Port Elizabeth was brought to a brief standstill on Friday morning. Residents of Qunu informal settlement protested with burning tyres and rubble on the doorsteps of the hall.

The residents said they were expecting a team from the Department of Human Settlements to conduct a survey of their 3,600 shacks on Monday, but nobody came.

Resident Maricia September said the community members had spent time collating documents and filling out paperwork they were told to have ready. “We want houses, water and the numbering of our shacks,” she said.

Protest leader Siyabonga Myoyo said, “We lost everything during the evictions of 2013. Today we want everyone, including MMC for Human Settlements, Andile Mfunda, the mayor and all directorates, to sign and receive the petition.”

Myoyo said they wanted a response before elections on 8 May.

While the group chanted and held up posters around the burning tyres, police fired a stun grenade to disperse the group of about 50. No arrests were made.

The stun grenade set off to allow firefighters to extinguish the small fires, a warrant officer told GroundUp. “I warned them several times to stand back, but they refused,” he said.

The municipality’s petitions manager, Thembekile Mgwanza, accepted a memorandum from protesters, promising to see it responded to by the relevant officials.

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TOPICS:  Government

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