Cape Town group behind recent protests to meet city officials

A human rights group, the Intlungu YaseMatyotyombeni Movement, which has spearheaded recent protests in Cape Town for basic needs such as water, toilets and electricity, is to meet the City of Cape Town next week. 

Shuz Nikani, the spokesperson for the movement, says it is the first time they will have discussions with the metro since the movement began in August last year. The meeting is to take place on Tuesday, 6 April.

The movement is at the forefront of protests in the metro municipality, affecting major roads including the R300, N2 and the Stellenbosch arterial road, causing long delays and increasing public tension. The protests are usually accompanied by burning tyres, stoning vehicles and disruption in residential areas. 

Xoliswa Tsholoba, co-chair of the movement, says, “We are human beings, South African citizens. We fight for our people to earn a better living. We demand change.”

The movement leaders say they get “harassment, instead of basic needs and services as stated in the South African Constitution”.

A report sent out by Western Cape crime intelligence, warns that “information received indicates that the Intlungu YaseMatyotyombeni Movement is planning a protest march to the civic centre in the Cape Town CBD on Wednesday 2021-03-31 at an unknown time. The protesters are planning to hand over a memorandum to the offices of mayor Dan Plato regarding their basic service delivery grievances.”

Xoliswa dismissed the report claiming they plan to protest today. “Intlungu YaseMatyotyombeni is not protesting today. We are trying to find out who is sending it out, we do not have a lead on it yet, but we are definitely not protesting today.”

She said protests may take place next week, depending on the outcome of the meeting with the city council. 

“They want to have a meeting with us. We don’t know their agenda, but they need to work with us. We will see what they will be saying, then we will take it from there.”

Xoliswa confirmed a memorandum will be handed over to the City of Cape Town and said their grievances include problems with the health system, Covid-19 difficulties and basic needs such as water and sanitation.

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Eunice Stoltz
Eunice Stoltz is a junior daily news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She was previously a freelance journalist and a broadcaster at Maroela Media and Smile90.4FM.

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