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File picture: An agreement was reached between the Tshwane metro municipality and four associations representing informal traders, the city said on Thursday. Picture: Herbert Matimba

Hammanskraal, Tshwane -

Food was stolen from a delivery truck in Hammanskraal on Friday, during a protest by informal traders, Gauteng police said.

Lieutenant Sarah Lesabane said there were reports that soft drinks and beverages were stolen out of a minibus.

“The incident came as a result of a protest which involved hundreds of informal traders who were accusing the metro police of harassment,” she said.

The protest began on Friday morning when informal traders learnt that metro police demolished their stalls next to the Kopanong and Renbro shopping centres. They barricaded the R101 road with burning tyres, stones and sticks. A section of the road had to be closed.

Several shops were closed because of intimidation by the protesters, some of whom threw stones at passing cars.

Lesabane said several people were arrested, but was unable to immediately provide the exact number. She said the protesters had calmed down by Friday afternoon and police were keeping watch.

Traders also protested in Pretoria on Tuesday after the demolition of their stalls and the seizure of their stock in Marabastad and other parts of the CBD on Monday night.

Tshwane Informal Traders' Association spokesman Shoes Maloka said the Hammanskraal protest was running parallel to another in downtown Pretoria. He said scores of informal traders were gathering at the corner of Van der Walt and Struben streets for a meeting with city officials.

“We want to request the municipality to allow us to continue trading while discussions to resolve the matter continue,” he said. - Sapa


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