Protest action in Cape Town turns violent, 2 arrested

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  • A crowd of about 3 000 burnt tyres, which forced several road closures.
  • Two people were arrested on charges of public violence.
  • The City of Cape Town says R1.3 billion in housing projects are under threat.

Kraaifontein residents took to the streets in numbers on Wednesday, causing havoc in Bloekombos in Cape Town.

According to the City of Cape Town, a crowd of about 3 000 burnt tyres and forced several road closures.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said: "Two male persons, aged 20 and 24, were arrested by SAPS and Metro Police in Kraaifontein this afternoon on charges of public violence. They are scheduled to make a court appearance in Blue Downs once they have been charged."

Public Order Policing members were deployed on Wednesday morning to various areas in Cape Town, in response to violent protest action.

There was also protest action in Malibu Village with regard to service delivery.

READ | Protesters set bus on fire, block Cape Town highways and roads

Community safety MEC Albert Fritz has condemned the violence: "While everyone has the constitutional right to protest, resorting to violence and destruction is simply unacceptable. It is dangerous and illegal to do so at the expense of the rights of others, especially their right to safety, to property and to move freely."

Its unclear why the residents in Bloekombos have been protesting, with reports suggesting it is related to evictions.

On Tuesday, protest action broke out in the early hours of the morning, which affected both directions of the N2 highway, Mew Way, Baden Powell, R300 and Hindle Road. The protest action affected communities in Khayelitsha, Langa, Philippi, Nyanga, Mfuleni and Kraaifontein.

ALSO READ | Early morning protests close Cape Town roads

According to the City, R1.3 billion in housing projects are under threat because of the ongoing unlawful occupations.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, said: "The City's response to unlawful land occupations is made challenging by the extensive responsibilities placed on local government to act as the final provider of all basic services and housing needs, without the supporting levers to fund or catalyse these undertakings. A response, which is premised on the capacity of local government alone, will not work."

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