News Flash!! Angry Sea Vista residents to march this Saturday – update
By Bev Mortimer
Disgruntled Sea Vista residents in Zwelitsha and Kosovo have planned a march down the R330 to the traffic circle at the entrance of St Francis Bay tomorrow morning early. The march is planned to start around 7 am.
No one is sure at this stage if the march will be peaceful or not. There are conflicting reports: some organisers say it it will be a peaceful march – that there will be no burning of tyres and no blocking of traffic; others say there is going to be burning of branches and tyres, plus no vehicles will be able to enter or leave town. The R330 is the only entrance or exit to or from St Francis.
Asked what their grievances are they say they are the same as last year – when more than 200 marchers occupied the R330 on 18 May and burnt tyres, refusing to move from 7.30 am until a representative from the Eastern Cape Provincial Council came to personally take their list of complaints, almost 5 hours later.
These grievances were lack of housing and poor service delivery and the fact that little or nothing has been done since the march in 2013. Added to the list this year is that land is needed for livestock.
Asked how long they will remain at the traffic circle an organiser said as long as it takes for a representative from the Provincial Council to come and meet with them.
The marchers last year made their anger and frustration known by making fires across the R330 in three sections between the Sand River Bridge and Cape St Francis. The fires were continually kept alive by the adding of branches and tyres and paraffin or petrol.
A fire engine sent to the scene to extinguish the fires had a rock thrown at it which smashed the front window right in the driver’s face. The driver appeared unhurt and reversed the fire engine away from the scene.
About 80% of the marchers last year were relaxed, peaceful, singing and toyi-toyi-ing – in spite of the fact that many of them carried spears and knobkerries. There were grandmothers, grandfathers, young girls, boys and kids among them in the crowd laughing, smiling and dancing. But there was also an unruly element, fortunately in the minority, that became aggressive and had to be brought in line often by the organisers.
An update will be posted later and this evening if more news comes in.
Observers advise that as a precautionary measure, residents wanting to go out of town or come to St Francis Bay or Cape St Francis tomorrow ( 21 June 2014) should perhaps do so before 7 am or after lunch.
For photos and story of last year’s march click here: