The smell of burning tyres filled the air in Southern Johannesburg as residents blocked roads during the early hours of the morning. This follows after similar protests broke out in other parts of the country last week.
Officials were dispersed to the area to keep the peace and to allow traffic to move smoothly. However, JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar confirmed that there were attempts to start a fire.
He confirmed that authorities were able to extinguish the blaze and that the situation was under control. Following that, protestors torched a mobile classroom.
Silindelo Masikane from eNCA interviewed a community representative, who said they embarked on shutting down Ennerdale after several failed communications with the district official.
The district manager verbally confirmed that the issue of mobile units will be attended to, but has failed to do so. The community representative said 720 students cannot fit “into small classes like that.”
The group handed in a memorandum which was ignored. They are now demanding action. She said:
“Enough is enough. We came together as parents and the community. [The police] stopped us from fighting for the benefit of the community. The police don’t take charge [at the brutalities happening at the school.] A girl was raped on Saturday within these premises, what does that say?”
She added that there are snakes under the mobile units but no action is taken.
If you are wondering why people are protesting in Ennerdale and think we are unnecessary…. pic.twitter.com/UotimP2UZ2
— Neil Springfield (@neil_sp) April 15, 2019
JMPD arrested five protestors during the course of the morning. As reported by Eyewitness News, officers used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
Kay Makhubele told reporters that protestors “regrouped and came back to the streets.” He added:
“Police are trying to talk to them but we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops. A number of police have been deployed. Earlier on, a classroom was set alight and we have opened a case of malicious damage to property.”
Ennerdale residents demanded to speak to the Department of Basic Education as they are concerned about the poor infrastructure of schools in the neighbourhood.