Bus torched, traffic disrupted again in Cape Town as service delivery protests continue
Cape Town - Roads in and around Cape Town were closed again on Wednesday morning as disgruntled informal settlement dwellers followed through on their plan to disrupt traffic for the rest of the week.
Cape Town traffic chief Richard Coleman said that due to protest action, Old Faure Road was closed between Spine and Mew Way Road.
Old Faure Road was also closed between Spine and Witsand, with tyres being alight in the roadway and stoning of vehicles taking place.
According to SAPS, Old Faure Road was reopened in both directions, Eerste River Way - which had been closed between Old Faure and Forest Drive - was also reopened.
This morning’s road closures were related to ongoing service delivery protests in and around Cape Town which caused havoc for commuters on Tuesday and could continue until Friday.
The protests are organised by a movement called Intlungu yaseMatyotyombeni (Pain of the Slums), which is made up informal settlement dwellers who believe they were neglected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A Golden Arrow bus was also torched this morning, which according to reports is believed to be related to the protests.
Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said that at this stage the motive is unknown but “witness statements indicate that it may be linked to protest action in the area”.
“We condemn this in the strongest possible terms and would like to remind the public that there is still a reward of up to R200 000 for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this brazen act of arson. Information can be shared via 0800 11 11 67.
“No injuries were reported but our driver is being treated for shock and will also meet with our social worker,” Dyke-Beyer said.
On Tuesday, protesters blockaded roads around Khayelitsha demanding water, temporary toilets, electricity and waste removal.
The chairperson of the movement, Xoliswa Tsholoba, said they could not be without services for 10 months and be expected to be healthy citizens during the pandemic.
Tsholoba said the threats and eviction orders from local authorities needed to stop.
“We are not from any other country… we are South African citizens.”
While stones were thrown at vehicles passing Makhaza, Khayelitsha, along Baden Powell Drive, several areas were blocked with burning tyres.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has condemned yesterday’s protest action.
“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.”
Fritz added: “Violent protest must be condemned in the strongest terms and I remind residents that the destruction of personal and public property is criminal. This action further threatens to undermine the economic opportunities of many residents in our province, as well as further delay serve delivery to affected communities.”
Minister Fritz added that SAPS will continue to monitor the protests, and that police are trying to verify unconfirmed reports of taxi drivers firing warning shots at a group of protesters in Makhaza.
Fritz added further: “I call for calm in the affected communities. Anyone with information on those reportedly perpetuating these crimes is asked to immediately come forward and report such to SAPS. We cannot allow the safety and stability of communities to be undermined by a few.”
Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, and member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, disputed claims about the non-delivery of basic services.
“The City continues to provide basic water and sanitation services, such as toilets and taps for water, to informal settlements across Cape Town, where possible.
“Providing services is a challenge when, due to unlawful occupation, residents settle on land that is not suitable for the installation of such services,” said Limberg.
“The City is also not allowed to install services on privately owned land without permission and in these instances, can only install services on the periphery, on City-owned land.
“The City will continue to work closely with ward councillors and informal settlement leadership structures to unlock additional opportunities for provision of basic water and sanitation, where it is possible to do so.”
Booi explained that the City is unable to cater for these “numerous newly established communities are demanding services”.
“Planned and budgeted projects are prioritised. Assessments of all unlawfully occupied areas are being undertaken and will continue to be undertaken across the metro. Noting that the far greatest majority of the settlements have been established on unsuitable land or land with great constraints for service delivery and land where the installation of bulk services for servicing was never planned.
“The commitment is there from our side, but it must be possible and it must be done in a planned and ordered manner,“ said Booi.
Fritz added that anyone with information pertaining to the warning shots allegedly fired by taxi-drivers in Makhaza is asked to report such to their local SAPS, call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or use the Tip Off function on the MySAPS cellphone application.