South African Police Fire Tear Gas at Soweto Housing Protest

South African police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in the country’s biggest township, near Johannesburg, to disperse residents who pelted cars with stones to protest the allocation of houses.

About 300 people barricaded roads into Soweto early on Monday and police remain on the scene to prevent a resumption of violence, Edna Momonyane, a spokeswoman for Johannesburg metro police, said by phone.

“Residents believed that some of the names who were on the waiting list are people who have not been living there,” she said.

South Africans staged at least 185 protests last year about a lack of housing and services such as water and sanitation, a record, according to Johannesburg-based Municipal IQ, which collates data on local government. The latest demonstrations come after weeks of attacks against immigrants in Johannesburg and the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province that left seven people dead.

The country holds municipal elections in 2016.

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