Stun grenades fired outside Cape Town Civic Centre during water, toilets protest

The new year started off with a bang for Cape Town's city council as stun grenades were fired at protesters demanding the installation of water and toilets on Thursday.

Mayor Dan Plato had proposed an adjusted budget for extra security measures in the council meeting earlier on Thursday.

“We want toilets, water and electricity,” said protester Ncedo Nkonyana, after balancing on his head and doing air splits in front of the police lined up at the top of the steps to the civic centre.

Earlier, at least three stun grenades boomed in the civic precinct while people carrying posters continued to toyi-toyi.

ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotatshe said that one person had been arrested and another had been bruised during the confrontation.

Sotashe said he was listening to Plato give the council the highlights of the budget when he received an SMS about the protest outside.

“And nobody is going to listen to them,” he said.

Sotashe and ANC councillor Khaya Yozi, as well as the party’s chief whip in the council Tandie Manikivana, left the meeting to find out what was happening.

“His (Plato’s) response to them was that they should not jump the queue,” claimed Sotashe.

He said the residents did not know which informal settlements had been prioritised and that they wanted answers.

Sotashe said there were also allegations that people in Hout Bay’s Temporary Relocation Area (TRA), where people were moved to after a catastrophic fire in Imizamo Yethu in 2017, were still waiting for the reblocking to be finished so that they could return home.

The delegation left to go back into the centre, saying they were going to discuss the latest development with Plato.

In a speech prepared for delivery, Plato, who took over from De Lille in November 2018, said that since he took office there had been an increase in service delivery, with R115m for cleaning up communities and extra R165m for extra safety measures.

He lamented the destruction of a community park in Sea Winds that cost R7.6m to build.

The proposals include an additional R26.7m towards human settlements and title deed restoration.

Inside the council, protesters in the public gallery were also removed.

Plato was due to address the protesters later on Thursday. DM


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