Highway remains closed in Grabouw as more arrests made in protests

2018-04-25 18:57
Protesters on the N2 (Derrick Spies, News24)

Protesters on the N2 (Derrick Spies, News24)

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The N2 through Grabouw remained closed on Wednesday afternoon as a result of a protest linked to the national shutdown over the minimum wage.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said the N2 had been closed between Botrivier and Gordon's Bay since early morning, after protesters burned tyres on the roads and threw stones at motorists.

The R321 at Elgin was also closed briefly but reopened just before 11:00.

As a result of the protest, the libraries and municipal and traffic offices in Grabouw were closed for the day.

READ: 'We are no longer willing to suffer' – Numsa spokesperson during national shutdown

In a short notice, Theewaterskloof municipal manager Gerrit Matthyse said the unrest in Grabouw was not related to municipal service delivery but was part of the action by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

Saftu held protests across the country over the National Minimum Wage Bill and the proposed R20 per hour "poverty" and "slave" wage.

In the Pelican Park/Vrygrond/Strandfontein area, eight people were arrested for public violence after protests erupted on Wednesday morning, said provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut.

This was after about 200 protesters "attempted to disrupt the traffic and peace".

Several roads were closed as a result of burning tyres, and bricks and stones being thrown at motorists.

Residents in the area reported being stuck in their homes because of blocked roads and tear gas used to disperse the group.

Pelican Park Primary School was not officially closed on Wednesday morning. However, only 10 pupils showed up for school, said Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

Their parents took them home.

Shelver said the protest action also affected Pelican Park High School.

"The schools will ensure that catch-up programmes are instituted for any work that was lost due to the strike action today."

The City’s safety and security director Richard Bosman, confirmed that Vrygrond was quiet on Wednesday afternoon and that around 70 people were standing on an open field.

Prince George Drive was open and traffic was free-flowing. He also said no buildings were looted.

Traut said officers would remain in the area "until tranquillity has been restored".

It is understood the protest is related to housing issues.

In nearby Phumlani, officials were monitoring a peaceful protest, said the City's law enforcement spokesperson, Wayne Dyason.

Read more on:    cape town  |  protests

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