Hundreds of protesters forced the closure of the N2 highway between the R300 and Vanguard Drive on Friday, causing traffic chaos.
The protest, along the N2 near Cape Town International Airport, appeared to be around service delivery issues, with protesters near Borcherd’s Quarry Road, adjacent to the airport, taunting police with buckets of faeces, to highlight their dissatisfaction with the bucket system.
DA leader Helen Zille tweeted on Friday morning that law enforcement officers on the scene had confirmed that the N2 tyre burning and closure was being co-ordinated by the ANC Youth League’s “ungovernability” campaign.
But Mfuzo Zenzile, regional secretary of the ANCYL, denied any involvement. “We just heard it on the news - the ANC Youth League is not involved at all,” he said.
Ramifications for road users in the vicinity of the airport were far-reaching, with reports of a queue of vehicles 1.6km long in Modderdam Road late morning, as motorists tried alternate routes to get to the airport.
An airport spokesperson said flights had been delayed as a result.
Spokeswoman for the City of Cape Town’s Traffic Services department, Inspector Maxine Jordaan, said the N2 had been closed for several hours between Duinefontein Road and the R300. This caused traffic chaos.
At about 9am around 500 residents from informal settlements in Nyanga were met by a line of police alongside the N2 near Borcherd’s Quarry Road
Protester Bongani Mama said:
“We had a meeting last night, and decided that if [premier Helen] Zille and [mayor Patricia] De Lille did not want to come to us we would make our point by protesting...”.
Residents dumped a bucket of faeces in front of police, who fired stun grenades at the crowd.
A hail of rocks came down on police from the shacks, and police were also attacked with petrol bombs.
By late morning there were two arrests, police said.