Cape Town’s working-class communities are “reclaiming” their streets on Tuesday morning as part of what is being called the “Western Cape Total Shutdown”, which protests against unemployment, crime and poverty.
Speaking to News24, organiser Gatto Wanza, said that residents of the Cape would protest on streets that lead to highways between 5am-10am on Tuesday morning.
Authorities have reported that the following road closures are taking place:
– Ottery Road has closed between Old Ottery Road and Old Strandfontein Road
– there are reports of protests taking place in Kensington – 18th Avenue is closed at Voortrekker Road
– there are tyres alight at the intersection of Beechwood and Ottery Roads
– Bellville taxi rank is closed
#TotalShutdownCT #TotalShutDown … Closure of the road leading out of #Bonteheweul (Blue Gum) … @Saps n @CityofCTAlerts presents in the area… @SABCNewsOnline @ewnbreaking @TrafficSA @eNCA @METROFMSA #freshbreakfast pic.twitter.com/SuYcxLdPZE
— Celani Sidlayi (@sir_elani) September 25, 2018
According to Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, the shutdown is illegal as the organisers did not apply for a permit that is compliant of the National Regulations of Gathering Act. “So this puts them in automatic conflict with SAPS,” he said.
Although there have been sporadic instances of tyre burning, the shut down has been largely peaceful. Metro police, South African Police Services and law enforcement officers have been deployed to the areas where protests are taking place, namely Bellville, Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel, Langa, Steenberg, Manenberg, Nyanga, Hanover Park, Flamingo, Freedom Square, Samora Machel, Phillipi, Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Kensington, Factreton, Heideveld, Delft, Ottery, Ruyterwacht and Kraaifontein.
Cape Town traffic is congested along the N2, M3, M5 and N1 motorways. Voortrekker Road is also congested.