In a bid to force Buffalo City Metro to finally build houses, close to 200 beneficiaries marched to the East London City Hall where council chambers are located to hand over grievances to the authorities this morning.
The group, organised under the banner of West Restitution Association,representing West Bank land claimants demanded more than 2000 houses from the metro following their forced removal by the then apartheid regime in the 1960s from the West Bank.
They were relocated in NU1 and NU2 in Mdantsane, Parkside and Buffalo Flats.
Two lanes of the busy Oxford Street was closed down as marchers made their way to the city hall yesterday morning.
George Yolelo, the secretary of the group, said the metro only managed to construct roads on the piece of land located opposite the East London Airport and have been waiting for houses for more than a decade. “We’ve been waiting for them to build houses for us since 2000. Nothing has happened since then. We are saying we’ve had enough. Eight mayors have come and gone nothing has happened.”
Yolelo said they were part of the group which opted for houses rather than money when claims were paid out by the Land Commission.
He said beneficiaries have done “everything in their power” to assist the metro.
“We even bought two farms, which are located opposite the airport from the Osner Group at a cost of R6-million. Still BCM has yet to build houses on the land,” he said.
This was the first protest post-local government elections in the Buffalo City Metro.