This Far and No FurtherWritten by Callyn Marks
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) convened a four day investigative hearing in Eldorado Park in response to complaints it has received.
The hearings arose on the back of recent public unrest in Eldorado Park and the repeated disruption of teaching and learning at Klipspruit West Secondary School.
In earlier engagements with the community, issues relating to allegations of racism, marginalisation, inequality, and excessive use of force during service delivery protests were raised with the Commission.
Members of the Eldorado Park community and surrounding areas, organisations, interest groups and the Gauteng Provincial and local government was invited to make written and oral submissions to the Commission.
Recent concerns around impacts to education arising at Klipspruit West Secondary School and schools in the surrounding areas will also be heard. The Commission seeks to promote social cohesion in Eldorado Park and through the process to protect the rights of vulnerable groups such as learners.
Day one of the submissions, representatives from Eldorado Park submitted their oral submissions to the SAHRC.
Wiseman Hamilton of the Greater Eldorado Park United Civic Centre said poverty‚ crime‚ drug abuse and a sense of being "left out" by government were the root cause of the unrest in the area.
“We do not have racial clashes on the streets of Eldorado Park , we live in harmony, yet the media classified both Klipspruit West and Eldorado Park as racists which was merely lazy journalism and untrue,” he said.
He further added that the explosion of protests was not caused by racial tensions but many other underlined issues within the community.
The Greater Eldorado Park Media Liaison Charis Pretorius said the Department of Education needs to take responsibility for not doing their jobs.
“Eldorado Park and Klipspruit West were classified as a bunch of racists when in fact 50% of the school management team at 30 of our schools are black African” she said.
Pretorius further added that the community of Eldos and Klipspruit made the decision that they would not take the injustice in community lying down hence the extreme measures of the protests.
The hearings took place from Tuesday and Wednesday at the JD Opperman Hall, Sneeuberg St, Eldorado Park.
The investigation convened further on Thursday and Friday at the City of Johannesburg Council Chambers, 158 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein.
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