Residents of Lenasia, a township south of Soweto, took to the streets on Tuesday morning, calling for the Gauteng Human Settlements MEC, Uhuru Moiloa, to address the escalating issue of land invasions in the community.
As reported by EWN, the disgruntled residents barricaded roads with burning tyres, rocks and rubble, causing a backlog in traffic.
AVOID!!! LENASIA SOUTH. JHB. GP. SERIOUS PROTESTS. ROADS BARRICADED. FIND ALTERNATIVE.
— REZA (@crimeairnetwork) May 14, 2019
Lenasia protesters demand action on land invaders
According to ward councillor, Vinay Choonie, the community is fed up with land invaders setting up informal structures in privately-owned land.
They want Moiloa to come down to the township and address the situation that has persisted for at least two years.
Joy Govender from the Lenasia South Residents’ Association (LSRA) identified the land invaders as supporters of the African National Congress (ANC).
“We’ve got people that are coming from outside, it obviously is politically-aligned, we’ve got people from here, people from the ANC, all different political parties and a student learner body and they’ve marked off the land.
“We had Netsure out here yesterday, who came and stopped them and took off their demarcation, however, they started again last night,” Govender stated.
Lenasia’s escalating issues with protecting vacant land
The issue of land is a contentious one in South Africa, and the Lenasia community has been dealing with it since 2017.
Back then, residents clashed with land grabbers in an attempt to preserve the open-fields that sit on the periphery of the township.
As reported by Citizen, the perpetrators were accused of marking pieces of land only to resell it to families who would, in turn, erect informal structures.
According to Shirley Brijlal, a Lenasia resident, the land grabbers did not come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“The people grabbing the land are not even from disadvantaged backgrounds because the show up driving their Jeeps and fancy cars, to mark their piece of land,” she exclaimed.
Up until now, there has been no indication from the provincial department of human settlements, that Moiloa will be addressing the community.
This is a developing story. We will update this article with new information as it trickles in.