Prolonged violent service delivery protest in Orange Farm south of Johannesburg caused disruptions that brought the township to a stand still.
The Golden and N1 highways were both closed with burning tyres and rocks causing traffic jams in and around Orange Farm. The number of schools closed increased from 4 to 12 in just 3 days. Students were forced to join the protest. Foreign shop owners donated hundreds of loaves of bread and drinks to protesters to avoid looting of their shops after one of them shot and wounded a 15 year-old boy who was allegedly trying to loot during the protest.
Residents of Ward 4 in Orange Farm were fuming and they decided to protest after their ward councillor was recorded saying he will not attend to them because he was busy. Amongst other things they accused him of corruption.
Residents said they were protesting because they have been ignored for years by their leaders. They also mentioned that their councillor is enriching himself with money from projects within the ward.
When questioned, councillor Simon Motha said accusations against him are false and community members must understand service delivery processes. Motha also mentioned that certain elements within the community planned to disturb voter registration but failed. Police Spokesperson Keke Motsiri, urged motorists not to use Golden Highway and be alert when using the N1.
There are allegations that ANC internal disputes are behind this prolonged protest and have nothing to do with service delivery. City of Johannesburg Mayor, Parks Tau, had stones thrown at him when he tried to engage protesters at the Golden Highway blockade but later managed to discuss the issues of the city’s plans to do road construction in the area, complete 600 unfinished RDP houses and sewerage system.
Regardless of these engagements with the mayor, The Golden Highway was closed again and this prolonged the protest to a month. Orange farm taxi association taxi owners also felt the heat because taxis were not operational during the protest.