Residents of the Cape are advised to be vigilant, as there are reports of protest action across the city on Monday morning [July 27]. On Sunday, July 26 the Gatvol Capetonian group released a statement saying that it would initiate another total shutdown to highlight the plight of “backyarders”.
“The memorandum we handed over has been blatantly ignored. The Backyarder Summit has only resulted in meetings upon meetings with the Human Rights Commission and City of Cape Town officials which also never amounted to anything,” they said in a statement.
It is unconfirmed whether Monday morning’s protest action is linked to the Gatvol Capetonian shutdown.
Protest action has been reported to be taking place at the R102 intersection at Forrest Drive, where tyres have been set alight. As a result, the R102 Northbound has been closed at Plein Street.
“R102 Northbound closed at Plein Street. All Northbound traffic diverted into Plein Street,” said Maxine Bezuidenhout, City of Cape Town Traffic Services spokesperson.
Old Paarl Road and Maroela in Kraaifontein have also been closed as a result of protest action, as well as Military Road in Steenberg.
“Millitary Road closed at railway crossing, and tyres alight in roadway,” Bezuidenhout reported.
The City of Cape Town’s Solid Waste Management Department has suspended city-wide refuse collection services and closed all City drop-offs for Monday, July 27 due to the protest action.
According to South African Police Services (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa, the protest action will likely impact the lives of ordinary citizens.
“It is on this basis the management of the SAPS in the Province has undertaken to mobilise resources within the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies under the auspices of the ProvJoints to curb acts of lawlessness. In the same breath sporadic incidents of public violence that have taken place in various parts of the Cape Town metropole remain a troubling aspect for law enforcement agencies,” she said.
“It is on this basis the SAPS in the Western Cape is issuing a stern warning to all communities to respect the rule of law. Cape Town, just like the rest of the country is still under lockdown in terms of the Disaster Management Act. Alert level 3 of the lockdown has restrictions that everyone needs to observe and abide by. Gatherings are still prohibited under lockdown. The SAPS wishes to reiterate public violence remains an offence that is punishable by law.”
“The forces on the ground will not hesitate to take decisive action should people embark on unlawful conduct,” Potelwa added. “In anticipation of any eventuality various SAPS units with the City of Cape Town’s Metro police and Traffic Services are on high alert.”
The City has asked the public to report any public violence or unlawful acts to the City’s Emergency Communications Center on 0214807700.
Also read: Cape protest planned: What you need to know