People living in the Quarry Road West informal settlement had blocked the roads demanding houses. Picture: Facebook

Durban - Residents woke up to the smell of burning tyres and gunshots when police and protesters clashed in Clare Estate on Monday. 

People living in the Quarry Road West informal settlement are demanding houses after some of them were displaced by the floods last week. 

A tent had been erected on the side of the Palmiet River where the displaced people were being housed. 

Those affected had blocked of Mountbatten Drive, Quarry Road and the M19, the main thoroughfare leading to and from Westville and Pinetown.  

Ray Jeawon, Reservoir Hills Community Policing Sector spokesperson, said they had been informed that a riot will take place. His team of volunteers were also attacked when they began clearing the road of rocks and trees. 

"Police were on standby and contained the protesters from causing anarchy on the roads. Protesters spread out stretching police resources. Three vehicles were reported to have been damaged on the M19. There was also an attempt to grab land alongside the M19. Residents are tense. We don't know what the next few hours hold," Jeawon said. 

Unconfirmed reports were that police had come under fire from protesters along O'Flaherty Road and Quarry Road. 

Sagar Singh, PR councillor for eThekwini ward 23, said a resident had a tree bark pushed through his window. Singh said the motorists were traumatised. 

Captain Nqobile Gwala, a KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, said nine people have been arrested for public violence and the damage to the infrastructure. 

"The police are at the scene. The community members embarked in a protest action where they blockaded the road with burning tyres and rubble. The traffic is moving slowly but we are advising the motorists to used alternate routes,"Gwala said.

Daily News