Protests play havoc on Cape Town roads, causing major traffic headaches

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Protest action has a serious impact on traffic volumes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
Protest action has a serious impact on traffic volumes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Protests have played havoc with roads in Cape Town on Thursday morning, while heavy morning rainfall has also slowed down traffic.

Traffic officers have closed the M5 road in anticipation of violent protest action.

"Prince George Drive [M5] is still closed, but I don't think there's any protest at the moment," Cape Town Law Enforcement Inspector Wayne Dyason told News24.

Traffic in both directions are being diverted through Plumstead or toward the M3.

"The road is closed because of the threat of violence. We've been keeping them off the road and yesterday [Wednesday], they threw petrol bombs," Dyason said about the protests at Parkwood, at the intersection of Hyde Road and the M5.

READ: Burning tyres put Cape Town traffic officials on high alert for protest flare-up

High alert

He said that officials were on high alert as protest violence has escalated.

The road was also closed on Wednesday, causing major headaches for motorists making their way toward the Southern Suburbs.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] they were firing live rounds at our staff and we have photographic evidence to find these people," said Dyason.

He said that up to 150 officers representing officials from police and law enforcement were on the scene as well as water cannon and an armoured vehicle.

"The talk is that it gangsters have infiltrated this whole thing," Dyason asserted about the protest action.

Robert Sobukwe Road affected

Traffic is also heavy on Robert Sobukwe Road (M10) because of violent protest action.

"At Robert Sobukwe [Road] they destroyed the robot," said Dyason as he worked to ensure officers were on sight to direct traffic.

He warned that traffic volumes, especially for residents along diversion routes, was going to be heavy.

"We are prepared, but it's going to be a nightmare and they [motorists] are all going to be diverted around the main road."

Law enforcement officials are also working to clear an accident scene on the M3 at the Westlake (M42) intersection.

"There was an accident on the M3 at Westlake robot. A taxi has gone over the railings," Dyason said.

Meanwhile, the morning rain does not appear to have caused any accidents at this stage. 

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