Wednesday, 02 May 2018 18:57
Politicians Missing as Mitchells Plain Residents & Siqalo Protesters Clash FeaturedWritten by Ryan Swano
Siqalo protesters have torched an ATM at a petrol station as well as a fruit & veg stall along with the owner's truck. Now residents of Mitchells plain who are standing up for their right to no longer suffer losses due to the actions of the Siqalo protesters are being accused of being 'racist'.
The ideals of social cohesion between black and coloured communities in the Western Cape is drifting further and further away from what was envisaged by the anti-apartheid movements of yesteryear and meanwhile politicians from all sides, but particularly from the Democratic Alliance which governs both the City of Cape Town as well as the Wesern Cape province, all seem unwilling to touch this crisis with a barge pole.
The service delivery protests by Siqalo informal settlement residents have become a regular occurrence which completely disrupts the lives of Mitchells Plain residents.
Protess have escalated after Siqalo residents have unsuccessfully tried to convince the City of Cape Town to purchase and service the private property they have started occupying since around 2011. According to a report in the Cape Argus of 13 May 2016 the property owner was indeed willing to sell the land to the city.
WATCH Mitchells Plain Residents Speak Out
In a statement on Facebook community leader and activist Basil Coetzee made it clear that the confrontations and the actions of Mitchells Plain are not racially motivated.
"Service Protests are when aggrieved persons or Communities move and mobilize to confront the cause of the grievance and the source thereof."
"In this Siqalo matter the Mitchells Plain residents did NOT create the conditions that led to this uprising... The residents of MP are NOT the owner of the land in question. The Mitchells Plain residents did NOT take legal action against anyone who illegally occupied the landowner's property."
"Your grievance is with the City of Cape Town who allowed Siqalo to develop as a settlement on somebody else's private property!! Go and attack them!"
"So do you think that attacking Mitchells Plain residents who did you no harm, must NOT rise in defense of their limb and property? Now that we do, YOU accuse US of racism? Sorry, not this time!"
In various interviews residents made it clear that their problem is not that people have occupied the land but that the city has failed to deliver on promises to the Siqalo residents and that politicians are also not considering that the service delivery protests are creating an intolerable situation for he rate-paying Mitchell's Plan residents. They are saying that "enough is enough" and have called on local politicians to come to the area and sort out the mess.
WATCH Mitchells Plain Protests - Enough is Enough
Many have also accused politicians on different sides of the political spectrum of allowing the situation to escalate claiming that political parties stand to gain from there being a "manufactured racial tension" between the Black and Coloured population groups.
Until now there have been no reports of local councilors or politicians visiting the area to directly engage the Siqalo protesters or the aggrieved Mitchells Plain residents.
One could easily be forgiven for interpreting the silence and inaction of the politicians as an indicaion that they may have purposely allowed the situation to escalate in order to create some form of "race-polarisation" in the run-up to 2019 elections...
Published in In the news