Trucks torched in protest action

Two trucks were burnt on Sunday evening near Dunoon.

The two trucks torched on the N7 near Dunoon on Sunday evening is the latest incident in ongoing unrest that some residents say is linked to grievances over land and living conditions.

Last month, two MyCiTi buses were burnt during protests in Dunoon and Joe Slovo. In that same weekend, two trucks were also torched in the two areas. These attacks follow other attacks in May where two trucks were torched. In June and September last year, rioters stoned cars, looted and torched two trucks and held a Table View woman at knifepoint. A total of 15 people were arrested.

Bothasig SAPS spokesman, Warrant Officer Jacques Mostert, said they were investigating a case of malicious damage to property.

“No one has been arrested yet and no one was injured during the incident,” he said.

City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman, Jermaine Carelse, said Milnerton and Goodwood fire stations respond to a call of two trucks ablaze at 10pm. The fire was extinguished at 11.15pm and no injuries were reported.

Dunoon residents attribute most of the unrest to a lack of housing in the area. They accuse the government of dragging its feet to meet the need for housing.

Luyolo Kita, a Dunoon resident, said the City of Cape Town took too long to address basic service complaints.

“Even if there’s a burst pipe in the area, it can go for weeks without being fixed. Every other street here stinks because there’s overflowing sewage pipes in a few places. How can anyone be expected to live like this and be happy?” he said.

Noxolo Thambo said she had been living in Dunoon for more than five years and had witnessed daily the City’s lack of concern for the area.

“I have been renting in a house here in Dunoon since I got here but just under a year ago, I bought a piece of plot in one of the informal settlements. I can tell you we are treated like we don’t belong in this country. It seems that we are nothing but a nuisance to the local authorities. Where is the humanity?” she said.

Last week, Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers visited Dunoon to give an update on a housing project that would move thousands of Dunoon residents to new homes to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (“Promise of new homes for Dunoon residents,” Tabletalk, April 29).

On Monday June 29, Mr Simmers said the public participation process after the rezoning of the area would be shortened from 30 to 10 days.

“Once this process has been concluded, we can move full steam ahead with the development of the transitional residential units (TRAs). I have also committed to returning to the area within the next few weeks, with a revised version of a pledge that will be signed by everyone involved, including Dunoon community leaders and the Western Cape government,” he said.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, said the City did not know which land matter was the reason for the recent protests but it condemned the violence.

“There are various pieces of land and interests that are being driven at the moment due to the Western Cape government’s de-densification engagements with communities.

“Various communities thus want to make their voices heard and are fighting for resources.

“It must be clear, the violence and destruction of property take us further away from catering to the needs of the community. It is absolutely condemned,” he said.