35 artists were arrested following a protest on the N3 highway. Picture: Supplied
35 artists were arrested following a protest on the N3 highway. Picture: Supplied

First the bus drivers, then the dancing entertainers - highway protests rock eThekwini

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Sep 2, 2020

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On Tuesday, bus drivers blockaded the highway with their buses, and on Wednesday, a group of artists and entertainers used trucks with a mobile stage platform to hold a live concert in the middle of the highway.

DURBAN - The mayor of the eThekwini municipality, Mxolisi Kaunda, has had his hands full this week after yet another protest took place along a national highway in Durban on Wednesday.

Kaunda said via a statement that he denounced the blockading of roads to resolve matters.

On Wednesday morning, the group of protesters made up of various local artists, blocked off a part of the N3 highway near the Spine Road (Pavilion) off-ramp, in Westville.

East and westbound traffic was brought to a halt for around three hours.

“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,” Kaunda said.

“We will not tolerate anarchy and blockading of roads, which puts a further strain on our ailing economy.”

The artists took to the streets to protest the continuing Covid-19 lockdown and how it affected their careers and financial interests.

A group of them proceeded to set up shop and hold a live concert in the middle of the highway.

According to Durban Metro Police, around 30 protesters were arrested.

On Monday, bus drivers from Transnat, the organisation responsible for operating the municipal bus fleet, parked their buses across the N2 highway just before the Queen Nandi interchange, as well as on parts of the M25 KwaMashu highway.

The drivers were seeking permanent employment, among issues they demanded be addressed.

Kaunda called that protest “an act of treason”.

“This is an act of treason and economic sabotage to say the least and those responsible must face the full might of the law. Our economy is very strained by Covid-19 and this unlawful conduct is compounding our woes,” said the mayor.

“Transnat must move with speed and resolve whatever issues they have that resulted in this inconvenience,” he said.

African News Agency

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