Cape Town police deployed to 'sporadic protests' across city

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  • Police have "been trying to quell" protests in a number of areas in Cape Town.
  • The protests, which began early on Tuesday morning, have led to the closure of several roads.
  • The protesters are reportedly demanding services from the municipality.

Public Order Police (Pops) have been deployed to "sporadic" protests in Cape Town.

The protests, which started early on Tuesday morning, saw main thoroughfares closed, with protestors burning tyres.

"Public Order Police with the assistance of station personnel have been trying to quell sporadic incidents of protests at various locations in Cape Town," said police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa.

The protests affected early morning traffic on the N2 highway, Baden Powell Drive, Mew Way, Hindle Road, and the R300.

"The protesters demand electricity, water and toilets from the municipality. For now, the N2 highway is open as Pops monitor the situation. Baden Powell is closed due to burning tyres on the road," she said.

According to City of Cape Town Traffic Services spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout around 50 protestors were on the roadway and caused sections of the N2 and R300 to be closed.

READ | Early morning protests close Cape Town roads

Protesters blocked the road at Mew Way, with incidents of stone throwing.

Protest action was also seen in Mfuleni, with around 80 protesters causing closures on Forest Drive.

Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works spokesperson Jandré Bakker urged motorists to make use of other routes.

Public Order Police (Pops) have been deployed to “sporadic” protest action in Cape Town.

"We urge road users to avoid the area until the road is declared safe enough to be reopened," he said.

City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said the protests were not only a violation of the current Covid-19 regulations, but had also endangered motorists and caused damage to city infrastructure.

Private vehicles, as well as ambulances, had been targets for stone throwing by protesters, Smith confirmed.

OPINION | The normality of anarchy

He added that the majority of traffic and law enforcement resources had been redirected to police the protest, along with the SAPS, and maintain a presence in the affected areas. This included manning detour points on roads that had been closed.

In additional to the reallocation of city resources, the protests come with an hefty price tag for the city – Smith estimates that damage to a road surface caused by burning tyres can cost between R50 000 and R100 000 to repair.

He added that in a quarter, the city could spend in the region of R25 million repairing infrastructure damaged in numerous protests, including road surfaces, traffic lights, and vehicles.

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