ISIPINGO RESIDENTS SAY ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’
By: Lisanne Lazarus
Isipingo residents were woken up by the smell of burning tyres and sounds of marching groups earlier this week.
Residents of Dakota informal settlement in Isipingo Beach took to the streets of Isipingo in the early hours of the morning, protesting the electricity shortage and poor housing
The protest lasted two hours in the presence of police who did nothing to stop the chaos.
It had occurred in a residential area, blocking all exits and entrances of houses and complexes on Ernest Cloakie Road.
“We want free electricity; government can’t move us out of here if they don’t have housing for us. This will continue until our needs are met,” said one of the protesters leading the
march who wished to remain anonymous for his safety.
Residents in the area said that they could not leave their homes to go to work or schools because their roads were blocked with burning tyres and other material that did not allow
them to exit their premises.
“This is an outrage, how are we supposed to put food on the table if we cannot go to work,” said resident Yusuf Khan.
Residents of a complex in close proximity to the informal settlement said that the dwellers at the informal settlement have been illegally connecting electricity from their complex.
“We have to cross live wires every morning when I walk my children to school, it’s so dangerous and this is right at our doorstep.
It’s unfair knowing that we have to pay for electricity we don’t use. We are tired of this, enough is enough,” Zwakele Lithuli a resident of the complex said.
Chairman of the complex, Gordon Lazarus, said that he did attempt to contact Eskom but only hit a dead end.
“I did call Eskom and reached the call center agent who put me through to management who then said that they had come out unto the area as per previous complaints however their lives
were threatened by those residing in the informal settlement and that police availability to them was scarce,” said Lazarus.
SAPS representative in the Isipingo area district, said that this is an ongoing matter that is being investigated further and solutions are currently in discussion.