Zandspruit residents protest against women abuse

Residents in Zandspruit woke up to  taxi crisis on 19 September as protesting community members blocked roads before marching to Honeydew Police station.

The protests against women and child violence started at around 6 am, forcing the closure of the Zandspruit Taxi Rank and other nearby shops. Most residents and students using taxis to get to their workplaces remained stuck outside the rank until getting back to their homes.

“When we got to the rank, there were no taxis and the roads were blocked,” said Nokuthula Mzamani, who could not get to her work place. “After the protesting members explained what the strike was about, some of us decided to join the protests. We definitely need the police to protect us from the violent people in this area. A lot of women die because of these violent people.”

Mzamani added that women in Zandspruit community are frequent victims of rape and domestic violence and they get unfair treatment from the police.

During the protests, the police deployed to Beyers Naude and Peter Road to monitor the situation and avoid any road closures. The protestors marched from the informal settlement to hand over a memorandum to the Honeydew police station.

Protesters demanded that the police hand over the memorandum to the City of Joburg’s MEC for public safety and the station commander of the Honeydew Police Station.

Efforts to get comment from the Honeydew police spokesperson were fruitless as he could not be reached.

Illegal houses demolished in Cosmo City

The City of Johhanesburg’s Department of Development Planning followed a court order on 14 September to demolish two illegal houses in Cosmo City, leaving at least six residents stranded.

The issue began when residents began extending their properties into the land of 82 –year- old Doris Shange who reported the matter. Shange claimed that she was uncomfortable with her neighbors invading her land.

“They started occupying my property in 2007,” Shange told Cosmo City Chronicle. “I told them to stop invading my land but they never listened. I am relieved to see the law taking its course. For the past 11 years I have been living uncomfortably.”

City brought in bulldozers to demolish the two illegally built structures, giving residents a few minutes to remove their belongings.  Residents who spoke to this publication expressed mixed feelings about the situation.

“When I came from work, I found out that the house that I lived in was demolished,” said a resident who identified himself as only Mthembu “and I was told that my property was put somewhere else. I have been living in this area for the past five months not knowing that it was illegal. If it was illegal there is nothing that we can do. We just have to look for other places to stay, and I was not ready for that.”

According to SANCO deputy secretary John Mongwe, residents of the illegally built structures were given notice well in advance of the demolitions taking place.

“As SANCO we cannot protect people who are doing the wrong things,” he said.

The campaign to demolish illegal structures, where court orders have been issued, forms part of the Department’s priorities to enhance building compliance in the City.



Cosmo City celebrates heritage day

Large number of Cosmo City residents came together on 24 September to celebrate heritage day at the Cosmo Mall.

The Bentel Group organized the event which saw different schools competing to showcase their traditional dances and poetry. The competition winner prizes were sponsored by Roots Butchery, Pick n Pay and 3@1. Boston awarded bursaries to Curro Meridian School and Sgodiphola Secondary school.

Heritage day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September.  On this day South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions.

Speaking during the occasion, the marketing manager of Cosmo Mall Space Management Shongi Mudabula said it was a positive move to see young children showcasing their cultural heritage.

“We are celebrating heritage day with students and parents,” she told Cosmo City Chronicle.

“The Bentel Group is always passionate about giving back to the community and today we are helping the community celebrate the cultural diversity. This is a signature event which is important to our community and we will continue celebrating our heritage every year.”

Massive turnout to the Meridian thanksgiving ceremony

Scores of people poured into Cosmo City’s Curro Meridian on 15 September to join the school celebrate its first thanksgiving ceremony organized to show appreciation for the community’s support since the school was established in 2015.

Meridian Cosmo City is an independent mainstream school accommodating learners from Grade RR to Grade 12. School staff, students, stakeholders and parents attended the celebration alongside community members. Most of the people attending the ceremony wore traditional African attire to mark the heritage month. Great music and entertainment graced the event.

In an interview with Cosmo City Chronicle, the executive head of Meridian Cosmo City Vusi Masuku said the event was a milestone for the school’s achievements in the community.

“Since the school was established in 2015, the community has been user friendly to us,” said Masuku. “So this is our high time to say thank you to Cosmo City. We are here to serve the community. Today we are celebrating the school’s achievement of service to the community.”

“We have seen the number of our learners increasing,” Masuku added. “We have also seen some of our learners participating in various provincial and national activities. The enrolments that we have are a clear demonstration that there is a good relationship between school and community.  If the community did not trust us, we would not be having the learners,” Masuku added.

The school’s first group of matrics recorded a 100 percent pass rate last year, Masuku said, with 72 percent qualifying to go and study at universities.

Masuku explained the school wanted to celebrate the ceremony in a traditional setting.

“We are in a month of heritage and we felt that it gave us a good opportunity to bring a traditional blending to our thanksgiving. If our children are going to have higher self- esteem, they must be rooted in their own culture and appreciate their uniqueness within their heritage.”

In October this year, the Meridian school will be hosting a family fun day.



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