14 September 2017. The small town of Kleinmond on the Western Cape Coast has seen protests and violence erupt in the past two weeks. The protests started after some community members from an informal settlement were dissatisfied with the awarding of a municipal cleaning contract to someone who is not part of their community. Disruptions included the barricading of the main road, setting fire to the mountainside and the occupation of land. Some protesters also threw petrol bombs at properties, while there are claims that residents are starting to use live ammunition.
The Overstrand mayor accused the community members of using violence to get the municipality to reverse the tender. Discussions between the mayor and the community members are continuing, but there is concern that the protests could lead to more violence and could cause racial tensions.
Dr Braam Hanekom of the Centre of Public Witness of the Dutch Reformed Church Western Cape Synod is currently involved in negotiations in Kleinmond in an attempt to normalise the explosive situation.
He requested prayer for :
- Negotiations and discussions that are taking place between the relevant parties. May God grant an openness to listen to one another, and that people’s grievances and dissatisfaction will be handled in a spirit of love.
- Leaders on all sides to remain calm. May there be renewed energy, tolerance and wisdom on the part of the police who are exhausted by the tense situation. May God provide the answers.
- The normalisation of people’s lives. Some communities cannot go to work, shops are closed and people are running out of food.
- Believers to stand in unity. May believers encourage and strengthen one another during this trying time.