The burning of tyres and the rubble left in the road by protesters takes the City of Cape Town a long time to clear. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Protests on Cape Town's major roads appear to have become almost a daily trend during the week, causing traffic chaos on either the N1, N2, N7 and M5, for example.

What frustrates motorists is that they have no idea when or where the next protest might happen. The City of Cape Town Traffic Service is in the same boat. 

"We start at 5 o'clock in the morning just in case there are any blockages. We never know when it's going to happen or where it's going to happen," City of Cape Town Traffic Service spokesperson Richard Coleman told the Cape Times on Tuesday.

"As soon as we get a call about any blockages, then we'll reroute our people to those areas."

This morning the Cape Town Traffic Service had to contend with protest action on the N2 from after 5am at Borcherds Quarry, with tyres burning in the roadway. One lane on the Cape Town International Airport incoming approach road was closed until about 6.15am.

Yesterday, protest action closed Princess George Drive in both directions between Military Road and Sonnet Way from just after 5am, with the road only being reopened at 7.14am.

In Khayelitsha yesterday, protest action forced Mew Road to be closed in both directions between Pama Road and Alium Way in the morning.

The Dunoon protests, which were taxi-related, caused major havoc on the N7 for two days 11 days ago. 

When asked on there appearing to be an almost daily trend of protests on roads during the week, Coleman said: "To me it looks like the number of protests are picking up.

"But then sometimes when you get there, there are no protesters but you have got the tyres and the rubble in the roadway and this is what takes so long to clear the road.

"Fire (and Rescue Service) has to come out and then we have got to get Cleansing (Service) out in the roadway. 

"Western Cape Traffic usually assists us because the N1 and the N2 are their roads but we patrol it and we go and assist where there are any closures in the roadway.

"We had a special operation running in Dunoon so we had quite a number of officers there. Our biggest thing is we are supposed to be running an operation in the Hout Bay area this week but protests elsewhere have been hampering it. 

"So all that people that come on duty for that operation have all been covering the protests – the one in Princess George Drive yesterday and then this morning on the N2 at the airport.

"We've got a massive area to cover from Hout Bay all the way to Khayelitsha, Kuils River, Kraaifontein, Milnerton, Bloubergstrand, Atlantis, Camps Bay and more. 

"For the officers to cover such an area is quite a hectic task."

Cape Times