Grabouw protest shuts down N2 - PICS
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Cape Town - Hundreds of protesters poured into the streets of Grabouw on Tuesday morning after some of the homes they erected on a piece of land near the N2 were demolished.
Some protesters allegedly set the local traffic department building alight. Others used tree trunks, branches and broken road signs to block the N2 and threw stones at cars.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at one stage, many bearing sticks or even shovels.
Over 100 small homes were built about a month ago on a piece of land near the N2 but were demolished over the past few days.
Some of the structures were still unfinished when they were torn down, enraging residents.
Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said at around 9.30am that a group of about 1 000 protesters were still standing in Old Cape Road in Grabouw.
She said there had been no reports of violence at the time and no one has been arrested, but the N2 remained closed so it could be cleared by a cleaning company.
Theewaterskloof municipality spokesman Stiffie Cronje confirmed that a protest was taking place and that their traffic facility was “vandalised”.
A resident who said she was not part of the protest, Lulama Stenna, said the protest was about evictions.
She said the protesters erected shacks on a piece of land about a month ago but they had not received permission to build from anyone.
Stenna said the new arrivals did not want to be moved so they started protesting on Monday night.
“You would swear they have been living there for years, because it looks like a township already,” she said.
People who work in the area or in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, but live on the other side of Grabouw, had to turn around because of the protest.
Trucks had to use alternative routes, slowing down business.
Gladys Badela, who works in Grabouw, said she was turned away this morning on her way to work.
“I had to turn back after I was told I can’t go into Grabouw,” she said.
Badela said she heard the protest was by people who had erected shacks along the N2.
She added that she didn’t know when she would go back to work.
Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa could not be reached for comment on Tuesday morning.