The Star: Angry protesters barricade highway

September 16 2008 at 09:52AM

Orange Farm residents have taken their demands for proper sanitation, water and housing to the streets.

Hundreds of residents barricaded the Golden Highway with burning tyres and rocks on Monday, making it difficult for motorists to pass through.

Community leader Bricks Makolo said the residents were supposed to have a meeting with the ward councillor, Meisie Msimango, on Sunday to discuss their grievances.

He claimed the residents waited until 11am and she did not come. “The residents got angry and decided to take action.

They will only speak to us when we protest. That’s how they want to work. We want basic services that are stated in the constitution. We want development.”

For several hours, police and metro police officers busied themselves removing the rocks that were placed by the residents. The protesting residents dispersed when police fired rubber bullets.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg municipal communications Manager Gabu Tugwana said Msimango did not make arrangements to meet the residents on Sunday.

He said issues raised by the community were being attended to. “We are calling for calm and patience among the community.”

Tugwana said 23 people had been arrested for public violence.

o This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on September 16, 2008