Cape Town 140915-Protesters from Grabow running away from the police. They want houses and electricity. Picture Cindy waxa.Reporter Murray/Argus

Grabouw - The security situation in protest-hit Grabouw had deteriorated to such an extent on Tuesday morning that not even the fire brigade were allowed in, officials said.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said earlier cars were still allowed on an ad hoc basis to pass through the closed off section of the N2.

But by 9am, groups of protesters were setting fires next to the road and hiding from police behind a barrier in Slang Park township.

Fire engines were on standby but were not allowed onto the road to douse the fires for fear of being stoned, Africa said.

A Sapa correspondent on the scene said a group of people had lined up on the N2, which had been closed since Monday afternoon from the Eskom turnoff and Pineview North entrance to The Orchards farm.

Tyres were still smouldering on the road and some protesters ran across the road, setting fires, and then ran back and hiding behind a barrier in the township.

A police official said at least 13 people had been arrested.

More shops were plundered overnight, some belonging to foreigners. At one shop, the gates and fence protecting it were removed by looters.

Service delivery protests broke out in the Western Cape farming town on Monday, causing school closures, looting, and vandalism.

A resident of Melrose Place said she heard shots being fired until about 11pm Monday night, where informal housing near Gaffley Street had been broken down by protesters.

Police lined Ou Kaapse Weg and Gaffley Street to protect people wanting to walk to work on Tuesday morning.

Buses and motorists were being directed along alternative routes in the Caledon and Gordon's Bay area under police protection.

A relief unit of the public order police was sent to Grabouw, 65km south-east of Cape Town along the N2 highway, on Monday night.

This was to provide respite for units that had been battling to regain control after the protests spiralled into violence and looting on Monday afternoon, Lieutenant Raldene Atson said on Monday night.

Reports of cars being stoned in the Pineview area were received on Tuesday morning.

Many residents have complained about pupils not being able to finish their exam papers on Monday and had to be sent home for their safety, although it has been denied by John Michels, chairman of the Grabouw Civic Organisation and one of the main organisers of the protests.

Schools will be closed on Tuesday and pupils sent home.

On Monday, oil was poured on the highway and later rocks and burning tyres were used to block access to the town. - Sapa