Cape Town - Widespread riots on and around the N2 on Monday caused a traffic nightmare during rush-hour.
The City of Cape Town’s traffic, law enforcement, metro police and cleansing departments had their hands full, and police rapidly deployed officers along the highway to maintain law and order and safeguard motorists.
City of Cape Town executive director for Safety and Security Richard Bosman told the Cape Argus that since 4.30 this morning, protest action was reported at the following locations: N2 Borcherds Quarry and Airport Approach Road, N2 Baden Powell Drive, Baden Powell Drive/ Walter Sisulu, Baden Powell/Jaftha Masimole Drive, Hindle/Fairfield in Delft, various areas in Khayelitsha and several areas in Delft.
“In most of these instances, burning debris had been left on the roadways but there were very few protesters in sight. There were also sporadic incidents of stone throwing on the N2, in the vicinity of Lwandle, as well as the Borcherds Quarry bridge,” he said.
“Two lanes were closed in the vicinity of the N2 Borcherds Quarry and Airport Approach Road but were re-opened by 7am.”
Cape Town traffic services closed Baden Powell Road at the intersection of Jaftha Masimole Drive, while the City’s Solid Waste Management Department assisted with cleaning the debris from the roads in the affected areas.
For motorists, the traffic delays continued, however.
An Independent Newspapers staff member said: “There were rocks along the side of the road, with burning debris, near the airport. The traffic was incredibly slow at times – almost a dead stop for at least half an hour.
“But the police seem to have cleared the roads very effectively. But if you veered even slightly off the road, you were in trouble.”
City traffic spokesman Richard Coleman said the truck, transporting bread, overturned at about 6.45am.
Initially the left lane was obstructed and cars could still pass to the right.
However at 8am both lanes were closed due to oil on the road and the extra space needed for the recovery operation. The lanes were still closed at the time of publication.
No injuries were reported.
** Protests disrupt Cape Town traffic
Sporadic protests took place along the N2 highway in Cape Town on Monday morning, Western Cape police said.
Captain Frederick van Wyk said four people were arrested for public violence at Onverwacht Road in Lwandle.
Over 50 people were found to be burning tyres.
“Members took action with a stun grenade to disperse them and they dispersed between the shacks,” he said.
Public order police also attended to the stretch of highway between the Borchards Quarry and Airport Approach offramps, where people were throwing stones at vehicles through the fence.
Foot patrols made their way through shacks in the area but no arrests were made.
Van Wyk said it was unknown whether any private vehicles were damaged by stones.
The fire brigade extinguished burning rubble and removed it to the side of the road.
Van Wyk said all lanes were now open to traffic and there were “sufficient police” to combat any other incidents.
Metro Police spokesperson Deputy Chief Yolanda Faro said the protests were linked to service delivery issues.