There was a tense standoff in Hanover Park yesterday when residents marched to the ward councillor’s office to deliver a memorandum.
About 30 angry residents, armed with wooden crosses, protested outside the office demanding he personally meet them, but Councillor Antonio van der Rheede was a no-show.
Godfrey Joseph, the chairperson of the Hanover Park Business Forum, said things got heated when another group of about 50, wearing blue DA T-shirts, arrived and chased the protesters away.
“I believe the councillor arranged for these people to protest against us because they were prepared early and were waiting for us so they can react in defence of the councillor,” he said.
Godfrey listed the grievances in the memorandum as follows: “Poor service delivery; the same people get the jobs, you must be with the ward councillor then you get a job; the roads in our area are broken; the day hospital operates only from 7am to 4pm; unemployment is very hig; the counsellors don’t want to work with the community; and the street lights are not working.”
He added: “The people who tried to chase us away are the people who benefit from the projects in Hanover Park.
“This isn’t a political protest, it’s a community problem.
A petition was started by local NPO Women2Women on charge.org, calling on Hanover Park to stand up against the “oppressive” ward councillor (Van der Rheede).
Yesterday the petition had 38 signatures.
The Daily Voice tried to contact Van der Rheede on Wednesday, but the councillor did not respond to emails, calls or text messages.