The Gauteng Provincial Government has dispatched senior officials on the ground to engage with the protesting community of Sicelo Shiceka township in Midvaal.
The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, Paul Mashatile has called for calm as the protests in the area enters its fourth day and pleaded with the community to refrain from destroying public infrastructure.
The protest comes, a year after MEC Mashatile visited the area to inform them about the developments in the area.Mashatile said that the department has five projects in the area that will benefit the community of Sicelo and those of other areas such as Mamello, Khayelitsha, Boitumelo and Pills Farm.
“We understand the frustration of communities because it seems like the department is delaying but work is happening in the area, because we have not started building top structures, they think we are not working and we are,” he said. The department is in the process of building a mixed housing development that will yield 3 300 housing opportunities in the area.
“In Sicelo Shiceka, the department is in the process to appoint a contractor to finalize the 45 houses. A further 720 houses are planned to commence with civil works in the next financial year,” he said.
“Money which is meant for development in the community will be diverted to refurbish the property damaged during the protest. That will lead to delays in planned projects and affect the same community burning the existing infrastructure,” Mashatile added. He said that the on top of the current engagement with the community the department will call for a community meeting and update the citizen on the progress made in projects.