'Shutdown' planned for Cape Town roads over poverty, crime

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Working class communities across Cape Town are expected to "reclaim" their streets on Tuesday morning as part of a movement called the Western Cape Total Shutdown.

This was in protest against poverty, crime and unemployment.

Organiser Gatto Wanza said residents would come together and protest on streets leading to highways between 05:00 and 10:00.

Residents and trade union members are expected to hold protests in: Bellville, Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel, Langa, Steenberg, Manenberg, Nyanga, Hanover Park, Flamingo, Freedom Square, Samora Machel, Phillipi, Mitchell's Plain, Khayelitsha, Kensington, Factreton, Heideveld, Delft, Kraaifontein, Ottery and Ruyterwacht.

Wanza said they did not yet have a sense of the expected turnout yet. The roads expected to be affected will feed into the N2, M5 and M7 traffic.

"Since the fall of Apartheid nothing has changed much for our working class communities. Our people continue to live in abject poverty, are facing unprecedented levels of unemployment and violence, cannot afford food and basic necessities such as water, electricity and transport and added to this we live in overcrowded communities because of a lack of decent housing," the organisers said in a statement.

They also said high levels of corruption in the public and private sectors took resources away from citizens who most needed it, leaving the poor to die of hunger and violence.

"It is our aim to continuously work on drawing in all urban, peri-urban and rural working class communities to participate to be part of our movement and our fight for the poor and marginalised."

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said their office was aware of the planned strike action.

Mayoral committee member JP Smith told News24 on Monday that the planned action was a public order issue and would be handled by the police.

Any blocking of roads would not be allowed and would be treated as illegal, he said.

Their officials were alerted to the planned action in the week, and will be ready to monitor the situation come Tuesday.

GroundUp previously reported that a mass shutdown was planned for October 3.

Organisers told GroundUp that they planned to blockade entrances and some main roads in several areas.

*Update: This story has been updated to include comments by JP Smith.

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