Fisantekraal protesters upset over City’s ‘slow progress’ in housing project

Police opened two public violence case dockets after the housing protests in Fisantekraal according to Durbanville police spokesman, Captain Marchell Rhode.

After waiting four years for houses, a group of residents from Fisantekraal vented their frustration through two protests last week where tyres were burnt and some vehicles were stoned in the process.

The protest took place at 6am on Thursday June 8, when 350 residents in the area started burning tyres and blocked Lichtenburg Road in Fisantekraal, according to Durbanville police spokesman, Captain Marchell Rhode.

“The community made sure that no vehicles entered the Durbanville area that passed Fisantekraal. Vehicles were redirected by police and law enforcement officers and they (motorists) had to use alternative routes,” he said.

Later on that day, at 1pm, a group of the protesters moved to Equi-Feeds in Fisantekraal and began stoning the vehicles that were on the premises, according to Captain Rhode.

“Ten vehicles were damaged in the process. At 5pm, the protesters moved to the new development area in Fisantekraal where empty houses were targeted. A lot of the new houses’ windows and doors were destroyed,” he said.

The following day, another protest broke out in the area where tyres were burnt and the protesters had threatened the community not to go to work.

“Several arrests were made regarding this incident and the situation was brought under control. The arrested suspects will appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court,” Captain Rhode said.

Two public violence case dockets have since been opened in light of these incidents.

According to proportional representation councillor for Sub-council 7, Chumani Kobeni, the protesters are demanding that the City of Cape Town commence with building their houses after a piece of land was approved in 2018 and they feel the City’s progress is unacceptable compared to the Greenville housing project in Fisantekraal, which is currently at phase 4.

Previously, Northern News reported on the progress of the City’s housing projects in Fisantekraal, (’Ignored’ Morningstar housing beneficiaries reluctant to move to Fisantekraal, Northern News, March 11).

Sub-council 7 encompasses Ward 21, Ward 70, Ward 103 and Ward 105 which forms part of Fisantekraal.

“They are complaining that the houses are taking too long to be built in comparison to the Greenville project. They also have a different typology of houses that they prefer to the ones that are currently being offered in Greenville. So, they prefer stand-alone houses and want conventional bricks for their houses instead of the special bricks that are being used to build the houses,” Mr Kobeni says.

The land that was approved to build these houses in Fisantekraal are set to accommodate 139 houses, he adds.