N2 Strand protest action - 19 arrested

2017-09-25 16:48
Nomzamo and Lwandle protestors block the N2 at Strand, Cape Town, on Monday morning over frustration over electricity provision (Supplied)

Nomzamo and Lwandle protestors block the N2 at Strand, Cape Town, on Monday morning over frustration over electricity provision (Supplied)

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Cape Town – Nineteen people have been arrested for public violence during on-going service delivery protests in Lwandle and Nomzamo, Cape Town, on Monday morning, Western Cape police said. 

The N2 was closed for most of Monday when protesters barricaded the highway with burning tyres over frustration over the slow roll-out of electricity. 

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said police officials “took action to disperse the crowd”.

He did not confirm whether rubber bullets or stun grenades were used. “The situation has been restored,” he said on Monday afternoon. 

Ward councillor Sitembile Mfecane said protest action was sparked when formal households in the settlements disabled illegal electricity connections.

“The problem is that the informal households connect to the poles illegally which causes the electricity to trip for the formal households.”

Protesters on the N2 in the strand area on Monday morning (Supplied)

Mfecane said the City of Cape Town reached an agreement with Sanral to supply electricity to the area, but the rollout of electricity had been “delayed”.

The city’s mayoral committee for informal settlements Xanthea Limberg confirmed that an agreement was recently reached. She said the area also fell within an Eskom supply area which was not serviced by the city. 

Limberg said the area's mayoral committee member Anda Ntsoda was set to hold an urgent meeting with relevant stakeholders on Tuesday morning to discuss the issues faced by the community. 

In a video released by Western Cape Traffic, protesters could be seen vandalising a traffic light by hitting its lights out with an object. 

Mfecane, who stays in Nomzamo, said a nearby school has also been damaged during the protest action, but he was not aware of any looting.

By late Monday afternoon, Mfecane was trying to get his family out of the community because he feared the community might retaliate against him. 

“It is very difficult as you can imagine, people are angry – I don’t know what can happen next,” he said. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  electricity  |  local government
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