Protesters block roads, halt traffic

2014-06-18 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address was preceded by at least three service delivery protests in various parts of Durban in the early hours of yesterday. Traffic was disrupted with the Metro police advising motorists to use alternate routes to work and to school.

In Dassenhoek near Mariannhill about 300 residents barricaded Milkyway Road which connects with Pinetown. Metro police spokesperson Inspector Sbusiso Nene said residents barricaded the road with tyres and cement blocks, forcing motorists to use side roads.

Nene said the crowd became angry when ANC area (Ward 13) councillor Mduduzi Gumede failed to address them after a request to do so by the police. The road was closed for about four hours with the residents having started the blockage at about 4 am.

On Sunday, another service delivery protest took place on the lower part of the same stretch of road. Residents used burning tyres and rubbish to blockade the road in the afternoon. The lower part of the road falls under Ward 15.

“Councillor Gumede was requested to address the crowd but it seemed he got scared. Individuals from the crowd started pelting passing cars with stones and that’s when traffic was diverted to side roads. However, the protesters said those involved in pelting cars with stones did not form part of the protest,” said Nene.

In both protests residents demanded houses.

Yesterday morning the M4 between Ballito and Umdloti was closed for about two hours in the morning after about 200 La Mercy residents placed rocks and burnt tyres on the road.

Naicker said no arrests were made and no injuries were reported. — WR.

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