Mass protest brings Durban to standstill

2015-04-01 00:00

MASS protest action saw large parts of Durban gridlocked for several hours yesterday.

The protest, led by the shack community from Kenville, Springfield Park, saw over 400 people take to the streets burning tyres and barricading roads from as early as 2 am.

It is believed the protesters made demands for housing and electricity, the latter having been cut by the city council recently.

This comes after a similar protest was held at the Kennedy Road settlement also in Springfield on Sunday.

Abahlali baseMjondolo, a Durban-based shack dwellers’ movement, distanced itself from yesterday’s incident.

Durban Metro Police spokesperson Eugene Msomi called the protest action “chaotic” and said it caused “lots of problems”.

“It began in the Sea Cow Lake and Inanda Road area before spilling over onto the N2. Between 9 am and 10 am we were forced to close the N2 south and northbound between Nandi Road and Spaghetti Junction, which we later reopened once the protesters had been moved by the SAPS. North Coast Road was also shut down,” said Msomi.

SAPS spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said various roads were barricaded.

“They [protesters] are demanding RDP houses. Police are monitoring the situation and no arrest has been made at this stage,” said Zwane.

Attempts to get comment from the eThekwini Municipality were unsuccessful yesterday.

In a separate incident, the M7 was brought to a standstill after a car veered off into the oncoming traffic, slamming into a tanker and sending both vehicles over a nearby railing. The driver of the car died.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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