ANGRY residents have promised to shut down the town if their land is not returned to them.Residents of Marubeni in Libode, Eastern Cape, made this vow after a brief meeting with Nyandeni municipal officials yesterday.The small town was briefly shut down as early as 8am as residents blocked roads with stones and logs. During their last protest in September, they demanded the release of title deeds.Community leader Samkelo Nongawuze said they had been waiting for years to be given land. He said their claim agreement was finalised in 2006 by then-minister of agriculture and land affairs, Lulama Xingwana. He said they had a detailed plan of what they wanted to do with the land.“Investors will come to us. We are ready for development on our land and want to be at the forefront of that. We will not just build shacks,” said Nongawuze. He said they had been patient for years.“We want the land registration and transfers to be done now. “We want our people to benefit and contribute to the economy of Nyandeni,” he said.Speaking on behalf of the municipality, municipal executive committee member Zamekile Nondlevu blamed the protest on miscommunication.He said they received a letter from the department which stated that they would be in Nyandeni from Monday to Wednesday next week to address the land issue. “They will meet residents on Wednesday. On behalf of the municipality, we apologise to residents,” said Nondlevu. “The reality of the matter is the department used to communicate with residents as well as the municipality. It was just miscommunication.”
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