Johannesburg – Pennyville residents have vowed to shut down their township if Gauteng premier David Makhura does not respond to their housing grievances in seven days.
On Friday morning protesters took to the streets and blocked roads with burning tyres demanding service delivery and the ownership of Absa and Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) houses that they’re currently living in under the rent-to-buy option.
Pennyville is a mixed-housing settlement, with different housing options for middle – and high-income beneficiaries.
It comprises about 1 600 RDP houses, 600 Joshco (Joburg Social Housing Company) communal units and more than 200 affordable rental units. Most residents are former inhabitants of Zamimpilo informal settlement in Riverlea, about 15 minutes from Pennyville.
More than 1 600 families were moved from Zamimpilo to Pennyville in 2008.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department chief superintendent, Wayne Minnaar said the protest started around 4 am and protesters were dispersed around 5.30am.
However, they regrouped and the protests flared up again, Minnaar said
The residents were expected to deliver a memorandum to the office of the premier later on Friday.
“There is a memorandum that is being submitted to the premier’s office today (Friday), so we are expecting a response in seven days. Should he not respond, we are going to make sure that Gauteng is ungovernable,” a man identified as Mongezi said.
The residents are calling on Makhura to give them clarity on housing and they also demand title deeds from Joshco.
The protest affected New Canada Road, the Soweto Highway, Klipspruit Valley and Mooki Road.