Rioting over land flared up again in Dunoon on Sunday night, and this time, the ward councillor’s office was torched and a new library, which is still being built, damaged.
According to JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, the traffic services reported that a truck and tyres were set alight on the N7.
“The City’s recreation and parks department reports that there was minor damage to the community hall. Minimal damage to Dunoon library (still under construction) has been reported – one of the large window panes is cracked. The scaffold on the outside deflected most of the onslaught,” said Mr Smith.
Lubabalo Makeleni, councillor for Ward 104, which covers Dunoon and Site 5, said the flare-up followed mayor Patricia de Lille’s visit to the area.
“A few weeks ago, the mayor visited Dunoon and spoke to people about the new housing development planned by the City. Another thing I’m unhappy about is not everyone was clued up with this new development and when they (the mayor’s office) asked for my help, I refused because I was not included in the first place,” he said.
Vuyisa Mogoloza, a Site 5 community leader, said the protesters were land invaders who had taken a piece of land along the N7 and in Dunoon.
“When the mayor was here, she pointed people to the Annandale Farm development but they understood that to mean that was their land to take and they became angry when they were removed by law enforcement. The protests then started, and all of this was because of a lack of communication,” he said.
Site 5 resident Nomsa Gida said people had been crying for land for as long as she could remember, and the City should live up to its promise of it “working for the people”.
“We just want land so we can put up our houses. We are tired of living in poverty,” she said.
Mr Makeleni said he would hold a meeting soon to do a formal presentation about the planned development.