About 300 residents of Johannesburg South marched in the city centre demanding that the provincial government address their needs for land and housing, and for their areas to be developed.
The march included residents from Eldorado Park, Diepkloof, Freedom Park, Meadowlands, Klipspruit, Ennerdale and Vryhof. They carried placards which read: “How long living in shacks”, “25 years of democracy and no development” and “We want Southern Farms Now”.
The protesters walked from Library Gardens to the Gauteng Legislature building and Gauteng Department of Human Settlements, where they demanded that Premier David Makhura and Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile, accept their memorandum of demands.
Some of the demands included decent housing closer to economic activity, transparency in the Rapid Land Release Programme (RLRP) and Mega Housing Development programmes. They also demanded an end to privatisation of the housing projects, employment of community members in development projects, transparency in the election of community liaison officers, and free quality healthcare and education in their communities.
Following protests for land and housing in Johannesburg South in May 2018, the provincial government adopted the RLRP. The programme assisted with identifying land for redistribution to people who want to build their own houses. As a result, some farms known as the Southern Farms were identified for redistribution.
Resident Venessa Beukes said the land has been standing vacant since it was identified for the RLRP despite people’s desperate need for housing. “The only thing left to do is for us to take that land by force. If provincial government doesn’t want to build houses for us, then just give us the land so we can build our shacks,” said Beukes.GroundUp