Kleinmond residents occupy land days after a violent protest in the area that saw shops being looted, tyres burning and the R44 road closed. Picture: BHEKI RADEBE/ANA
Police remained on high alert yesterday following violent protests which saw businesses looted, roads blocked with burning tyres and rubble in Kleinmond.

Residents took a break from burning and throwing rubbish on the roads and instead cleared a bush where they intend to build shacks.

They set fire to a piece of land adjacent to the coastal town’s Overhills community. The R44 opposite the area has been closed to traffic forcing motorists to use alternative routes to access the Overberg coastal areas. 

Some businesses in the area opted to close fearing that they would be looted if they remained open.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said police were at the scene monitoring the situation. Since the protest started last week, Rwexana said there had been no arrests.

Provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said the R44 was still closed as the road had debris from burnt tyres. He said law enforcement members would monitor the area until it was calm.

Community leader Sizakele Bango said the protest was sparked following a cleaning tender that the municipality awarded to a Hermanus contractor despite the fact that a community member from Kleinmond applied for it.

Residents were also unhappy about housing issues as they say they have been living in shacks for decades.

They also demand that officials address the lack of burial space. 

“This is not only about the tender but socio-economic issues including housing and unemployment,” said Bango, adding residents would protest “until demands are met”.