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Protests In Enkanini Continue As Demands For Service Delivery Mount

Metro police officers remove shards of broken bottles off the road during the protest at Blinkbonnie Road.

On Monday morning, Wiggins Road in Cato Manor (Durban) remained covered with rubble, shards and smoke from the burning tyres following a service delivery protest in Blinkbonnie road, Bonela. On Sunday evening residents of  Enkanini took to the streets after experiencing power outage for two days.

Blinkbonnie road has been hit with a series of protests since last year over numerous issues including service delivery and evictions by the eThekwini municipality.

According to Abahlali baseMondolo’s (shack dwellers movement) secretary general Nhlanhla Mtshali in Enkanini branch the people have been protesting with the same grievances several times; and the protest which saw the people spending the whole night blocking the road was triggered by a two-day power outage.

“Since January we were promised a pilot project that would bring interim services to the people but we are still without proper sanitation. Currently the protest was triggered by power cut which has taken two days already, but the issue goes beyond just that. The people are tired and taking to the streets have been our very last resort,” he said.

Mtshali also said that they have been trying to engage the ward councillor Warren Burne to try and address their issues but he has been of no avail for months now.

Blinkbonnie Road on Monday morning. (Photo by Lizeka Maduna)

“When we call him he no longer respond to our calls, he ignores us. When people ask him about us he claims that he has nothing to do with us but we are living under the same ward he is serving,” Mtshali said.

When The Daily Vox arrived at the scene Metro Police officers were already cleaning up, removing shards of bottles from the centre of the road.

The residents of Enkanini in Blinkbonnie Road have since occupied the area in August 2017 after they were granted a court interdict by the Durban High Court allowing them to occupy the piece of land; but, these people are still without interim services such as water and toilets.

The councillor has blamed the provincial human settlements department and eThekwini Municipality for not adhering to the court order issued by the Durban High Court.

“The root cause of all this is the fact that the provincial human settlements department and the municipality have simply ignored a court order which was a temporary arrangement based on the fact that people claimed they have been residing here for years,” he said.

Burne also said that it was alarming to witness public disorder and that resorting to violence each time people have grievances was unjustifiable.

“It’s very distressing to realise how easily the violence and public disorder is turned on and off like tap and that’s got to stop. There’s no justification for the people to become as disruptive,” he said.

Featured image by Lizeka Maduna.

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