“All I want is a piece of land or a house‚” said Elizabeth Ngwenya‚ 60‚ a resident of Freedom Park‚ Soweto‚ who joined a handful of protesters outside the ANC headquarters‚ Luthuli House‚ on Monday.
Ngwenya said she has been renting all her life.
She has never been formally employed but her financial difficulty has worsened‚ as she has lost her only two children.
“If I can get a house or even if it’s land of my own‚ which I will leave for grandchildren‚ and then I would die happy.”
“I sometimes get sleepless nights because of this thing of knowing that I do not have anything of my own‚” she added.
She was part of the at least 20‚ mostly elderly‚ people who identified themselves as the Gauteng Civics Organisation‚ who took to the ANC headquarters to express their grievances.
The group’s leader‚ Thabang Makhele‚ said the group had on various occasions tried to engage the mayor of the City of Johannesburg‚ Herman Mashaba‚ with no success.
Makhele said over 48‚000 stands had been promised for allocation to the people of Freedom Park‚ Lehae‚ Vlakfontein‚ Ellias Motsoaledi‚ and Diepkloof.
“Our people are no longer interested in receiving RDP houses‚ they just want their piece of land. So that they can develop their own houses‚ they want government to put in water.”
According to the group‚ the stands were expected to be established in Southern Farm‚ which is not far from Southgate.
“There was progress at some point‚ the problem started when the DA-led government took office‚” Makhele said‚ although he also said the delays had been over five years.
“It is difficult to reach the mayor‚ there were several attempts‚ I have his cell phone numbers‚ I spoke to him at this year’s budget speech‚ have spoken to him face to face and he never scheduled a meeting‚” he added.
The group threatened to sleep outside Luthuli House on Sunday‚ which will be the eve of an ANC national executive committee meeting‚ if their demands were not attended to‚ by the end of the week.
“We will mobilise our communities‚ over 3‚000 people will be here [Luthuli House]. Today was just for us to have a picket.”
Makhele said the group wanted the ANC to take over the land project from the DA-led city.
Among those who came to listen to the crowd’s grievances were Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko‚ ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe and former premier of Gauteng Paul Mashatile.
Mashatile told the crowd that their plea had been heard and as a result‚ Premier David Makhura had requested to meet a small delegation at his office soon.
BY NONKULULEKO NJILO-TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital