INTRODUCTION: Protests continued on Tuesday (7 April) against rent increases in black townships around Johannesburg.
GV Open field where meeting was broken up
GV Sethokga hostel with broken windows and damaged fence (2 shots)
CU Broken glass PULL BACK TO damaged hostel
GV House with damaged windows
CU Man looking out of doorway
CU Broken windows PULL BACK TO GV same man in same doorway
GV ZOOM into CU burnt-out tractor
GV and SV Wrecked and burnt out truck, van and car (3 shots)
GV Leralla bottle store with men taking goods from hole in wall and placing them in lorry (2 shots)
GV Men loading lorry
GV Road worked sign PAN TO car standing on unfinished road
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Protests continued on Tuesday (7 April) against rent increases in black townships around Johannesburg. Sporadic violence reached a peak in Tembisa on Saturday (4 April) after South African police broke up a rent protest meeting.
SYNOPSIS: It was here in this field where simmering discontent over the rent levy boiled over, after police moved in to disperse a protest rally. A few days earlier (Tuesday, 31 March) crowds had given authorities a foretaste of their anger, seriously damaging the Sethokga Hostel, which houses unmarried workers in the district.
Rioters also turned on the chairman of the Tembisa Residents' Association, who himself is black, attacking his house and accusing him of collaborating with white authorities to introduce the rent rises. He denies any collusion and says the increases were introduced solely by the Administration Board.
Burned out vehicles reflect only a small degree of the underlying tension. Each householder in Tembisa, and in the other towns affected, received a rent levy demand of five rand (about U.S. six dollars) a month on 1 April. The authorities say they must raise 38-million rand (about 48-million dollars) to improve roads, electricity supplies and the sewerage system.
But the residents believe they will never see the benefits, and say improved services are the responsibility of local authorities anyway. In Tembisa, there have been stonings, supermarkets have been looted, and bottle stores are a prime target. In a nearby town, the supermarket was looted and then destroyed by fire after residents were refused permission to hold the protest meeting in a local church. Five people were arrested and a number were injured.
In one township, police fired teargas to break up a protest meeting. Most of those arrested, including members of Azapo (Azanian Peoples Organisation), a black activist group, are being detained under the wide-ranging Criminal Procedure Act.