End of Afrikaans schools demanded

Kgosientso Ramokgopa

The eradication of Afrikaans schools in the area and better service delivery are some of the demands the Tshwane metro were attending to following the large scale destruction of property and violence that erupted in the west of the city on Wednesday.

There has been chaos in the Hercules area since Wednesday morning, when residents from the Gomorrah informal settlement took to the streets, burning tyres and blockading the Daspoort tunnel, Van der Hoff Road and Bremer Streets.

Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said in a statement he was committed to resolve the concerns off the Hercules and Gomorrah residents and in the meantime, he called for calm and stability.

“Despite the fact that we have expressed our commitment to the improvement of the living conditions of the residents of the areas, today’s protests were clearly fueled and fanned by opportunistic elements intended to cast aspersions on the commitment to establish sustainable

human settlement in the city and to improve the living condition of the people of Gomorrah,” Ramokgopa said.

He said the metro had dispatched both the service delivery rapid response units responsible for the Ntirhisano Programme to engage with the community and to establish their core demands and grievances.

“We have received a detailed memorandum from the residents and have committed to respond within thirty days as requested by the community.”

According to the mayor, the city had received the memorandum of demand and grievances from residents covering the following issues:

– the eradication of Afrikaans speaking schools in the area;

– the acceleration of the formalisation process and the improvement of current rudimentary municipal services since the relocation and establishment of the settlement; and

– the development of recreational facilities and a safe and conducive environment for children and youth.

“We have noted and believe that the protest was as result of the frustrations of residents not being able to take their children to school due the unprotected labour action by city employees and the BRT A Re Yeng bus serviced in the past week,” Ramokgopa said.

He said the metro was committed to the resolution of the current pupil transport services with the provincial government and to ensure that the appointment of competent service providers was fast-tracked so that no schooling was ever disrupted due to lack of school transportation.

“We condemn the violent protest as witnessed and reiterate that we remain open for engagement with our communities in finding long-term solutions to their challenges,” said Romokgopa.

“In the same vein we would like to apologise to the motorists for the inconvenience and distress caused [during the protest] and we guarantee that our continuing discussions with the communities will ensure that no further disruptions of public order are experienced.”

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Stephane Bothma

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