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'Hand over title deeds within 7 days or face Gauteng shutdown' – angry Pennyville residents

12th April 2019 BY: News24Wire
Gauteng Premier David Makhura
Gauteng Premier David Makhura

While rubber bullets and rocks flew during service delivery protests in the streets of Pennyville, Soweto, a memorandum, calling for title deeds to the Pennyville flats within a period of seven days, was handed over to Premier David Makhura's office in Johannesburg on Friday.

Failure to respond within seven days would result in a shutdown of the entire province, protesters said.

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"Tenants in the social housing schemes are facing, namely, the serious threat of being homeless due to financial challenges - as [a] result of unemployment and retrenchments - because of [the] badly performing South African economy.

"As a result, we request to be given ownership of the respective units that we are renting endlessly under the banner of social housing," secretary of the united social housing tenants committee, Thulani Khumalo, said in the memorandum. 

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Pennyville is one of a long list of communities across the country that have taken part in a series of shutdowns aimed at addressing service delivery issues, just weeks before the May general elections.

Residents barricaded main roads with rocks and burning tyres from the early hours of Friday morning. 

Law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades, while residents threw rocks at the police Nyala. 

The disgruntled residents are demanding the following:

1. Stop immediately threatening residents with eviction letters, who are practically voters and residents of the city;

2. Hand over the ownership of the flats to the residents, in order to give dignity to the people;

3. The City of Johannesburg must immediately facilitate a Social Housing Indaba to review and restructure the social housing scheme in SA, as the current model is not designed to serve the issue of South African housing backlog, but it is profit-driven.

Johannesburg Metro Police and South African Police Service officers remain on the scene, while protestors vow to continue with the shutdown. 

New Canada Road and the M17 have since been reopened to motorists. 

EDITED BY: News24Wire
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