Angry Gugulethu residents say they will continue to protest on the N2 as long as the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit continues demolishing their shacks.
On Wednesday, residents from the Barcelona, Europe and Kanana informal settlements burned tyres and threw rocks at passing cars on the N2 at Borchards Quarry.
Resident Khaya Java, 30, said they were not allowed to extend their homes and complained that these extensions or alterations were being pulled down by city authorities.
“The government sends the police here to demolish our shacks… If they don’t give us an answer we will throw bricks in the street again tomorrow,” said Java.
Another resident, 28-year-old Tando Madela, said: “They don’t want us to extend our shacks, but we’ve got children who grow up and also need a place to stay. While they’re living in the suburbs, we must suffer.”
The mother-of-three said residents were “sick and tired” of officials’ “promises”.
Other residents complained of still having to use the “bucket system” and not having tar roads built in the area.
One resident, Sindi Zinyane, 33, pointed out a bruise she allegedly sustained after being hit by a rubber bullet – police had fired on the protesting residents. She accused the police of using unnecessary force.
The City of Cape Town’s spokeswoman, Kylie Hatton, said residents living on council-owned land could extend or amend their structures only with the landowner’s permission.
It was the Anti Land Invasion Unit’s job to remove structures which had been extended or built illegally if prior warnings had been ignored, Hatton said.
“When they expand the site with more structures illegally, it creates density, with too many people, which has a major impact on developing and upgrading the area in order to make it a more viable community,” said Hatton.
Provincial police spokesman Andrè Traut said no injuries had been reported and no arrests had been made.