The Total Shutdown Movement has announced that they will be protesting again come September 25 – exactly a year after they closed many of the Cape’s major arterial routes – as their demands have not yet been met.
In early August, the Gatvol Capetonian group staged a shutdown across the city which dealt with the issue of housing, but this led to sporadic violence, including the throwing of stones and burning of tyres.
“We will be attempting to close arterial roads such as the M7, Jakes Gerwel, the Stellenbosch Arterial, Valhalla Drive and Voortrekker Road from 5am to 10am because it seems there is no other way the government is going to listen to us accept when we affect businesses,” Total Shutdown spokesperson Nadia Mayman De Grass told IOL. “There won’t be any burning tyres, there won’t be any throwing of stones.”
Abdul Karriem Matthews, who is one of the organisers of the shutdown, said that the group is tired of the violence in the Cape Flats.
“Seven days to Total Shutdown. Last night three children and one 18-year-old were massacred in a wendy house in Clark Estate. The AGU [Anti-Gang Unit] and the SANDF [South African National Defense Force] has to date not arrested and prosecuted one major gang leader or drug lord, let alone all of them,” he shared on social media. “With more than 150 000 gang members, all armed, we are in fact facing a low intensity war, waged by what constitutes an armed militia terrorising working class communities. The morturies are filled to capacity and our hospitals are practicing battle field medicine as if we are in a combat zone. The Cape Flats and the townships remain a site of mass trauma and will continue to be so unless we, the working class communities directly impacted by this war take a stand, unite, organise and mobilise ourselves.”
“We want AGU units in all the hot zones to eliminate the gangs and drug dealers and we want them now. We demand proper housing, jobs, education and health and we want it now,” Matthews said.