City responds to Orange Grove housing protests

Eleanor Huggett, Ward 73 councillor has been accused by residents of Orange Grove for failing to intervene in the Johannesburg Property Company's houses allocation.


The City of Johannesburg has assured residents of Orange Grove that it is aware of the problems they have raised and is dealing with them.

Residents of Orange Grove staged protests over the past three weeks and blocked the intersection between Louis Botha Avenue and 10th Street by burning tyres and mattresses.

Residents are protesting against the occupation of the Johannesburg Property Company’s houses in Orange Grove, citing corruption.

Read: #ICYMI: Orange Grove residents stage housing protest

They claim that the properties have been allocated to illegitimate people whereas the protesters have been waiting a long time to occupy them.

They also accused their councillor, Eleanor Huggett, saying she failed to intervene and address their plight and even demanded that she vacate her position as the leader in Ward 73.

The City’s spokesperson, Nthatisi Modingoane, responding to the questions sent to him by the North Eastern Tribune, said the City is dealing with the matter. “What is of concern is that these demonstrations are taking place amidst ongoing efforts by the government to improve the lives of the people in that area,” said Modingoane.

“The other disturbing issue is the manner in which the ward councillor [Huggett] is being lambasted by residents. There seems to be a perception that the ward councillor has administrative power to allocate houses, award leases and procure security services.” Modingoane said ward councillors are an interface between the community and the municipality and have no such powers.

Read: Residents still object to Sizwe housing project

He claimed that regular meetings are being held with various concerned people to come up with a resolution to the challenges raised by residents in the area and to develop a plan to improve service delivery in Orange Grove.

“While communities have a right to engage in protests to express their dissatisfaction, this has to be done in a lawful manner without infringing on other people’s rights. Those who are engaged in criminal activity will be dealt with according to the law,” warned Modingoane.

Details: Nthatisi Modingoane [email protected]

Thabo Jobo

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