Durban mayor, KZN Transport MEC condemn N3 protests by artists
KZN Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli and Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda have condemned a protest that saw motorists stranded for hours on the usually busy N3 highway.
Durban - At least 30 people arrested during a protest on the N3 today, will be charged for breaching sections of the Regulation of Gatherings Act and Road Traffic Management Corporation Act.
This is according to KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC, Bheki Ntuli.
Ntuli said he tasked police to act swiftly and arrest those behind the act of criminality.
He condemned the disruption of traffic which saw hundreds of motorists stranded on the N3 for most of the morning and early afternoon.
This came after local artists had closed off entry into and out of Durban, demanding that musicians and artists be allowed to perform at 70% capacity during events.
Ntuli said any person who disrupts traffic by blocking roads, conducts a criminal act and will be charged and prosecuted.
“We acknowledge that people have the freedom to exercise their constitutional rights to protest, but they should do so in a peaceful manner without blocking roads therefore preventing other law-abiding citizens from going to school and work,” he said.
He added that an integrated approach involving all members of the Executive Council has been adopted and will be used to address challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic which has had an adverse impact on all sectors of the economy.
“The priority is to turn around the situation for the benefit of all stakeholders and the people of KwaZulu-Natal in general,” the MEC said.
Ntuli said law enforcement agencies, deployed across the province, will continue to apply fundamental policing principles, guided by the Constitution as well as the current State of Disaster Regulations under Alert Level 2 of the national lockdown.
Durban mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, also condemned the protest.
“I wish to denounce the unlawful conduct of blockading of roads to resolve matters. We understand that various sectors and industries have been hard hit economically by the Covid-19 global pandemic but the unruly actions and acts of economic sabotage will not be tolerated and those who go against the law will be brought to book,” he said.
Kaunda said government was aware of how strained the economy was.
“Therefore, we implore you to exercise patience during this difficult time as we work towards recovering our economy for the benefit of all. As a democratic government, our doors remain open to discuss issues affecting our residents. Most importantly, we respect the right of people to embark on peaceful protests. What we will not tolerate is anarchy and blockading of roads which puts a further strain in our ailing economy,” he said.
Earlier this week, Tansnat bus drivers, a company operating buses for the City, blockaded roads with buses which resulted to traffic grinding to a halt during rush hour.