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National shutdown: City of Cape Town reports minimal disruption from EFF protest

Enforcement agencies in Cape Town have been busy dispersing would-be protesters. Picture: City of Cape Town

Enforcement agencies in Cape Town have been busy dispersing would-be protesters. Picture: City of Cape Town

Published Mar 20, 2023


Cape Town – The City of Cape Town says law enforcement agencies are working with the SAPS and other stakeholders to act swiftly against any attempts of violence or disruptions, and there had been limited disruption amid the EFF’s national shutdown.

This comes after the EFF embarked on a national shutdown on Monday in protest against load shedding, unemployment, crime and gender-based violence, calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down.

The City of Cape Town’s mayco member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, said there had been a few sporadic incidents of stone-throwing, attempts to block roads with burning barricades and attempted arson.

“But thanks to the co-ordinated and swift response of enforcement agencies, we’ve managed to contain the situation. Our staff remain on high alert, and are continuing their proactive patrols and checkpoints to ensure law and order prevails,” Smith said.

“While we have been on high alert for potential impacts related to the shutdown, our enforcement staff have also continued their focus on their day-to-day operations. In one of the latest enforcement successes this morning, our Highway Patrol Unit officers arrested a suspect for the possession of a stolen vehicle on the N2.

“In the past week, our staff have made nearly 300 arrests for various transgressions and we also had the very substantial drug bust by our metro police officers, resulting in (the seizure of) contraband with a street value of over R1 million.”

Smith said many of their enforcement successes were a result of the technology the City continued to invest in, but also visible patrols and community tip-offs.

“We are deeply indebted to those members of the public who do their bit for safer communities by blowing the whistle on criminal acts,“ he said.

Smith said during general enforcement efforts from March 13-20, the City’s agencies made 288 arrests, issued 72 409 fines, impounded 309 public transport vehicles and executed 575 warrants of arrest.

He said the City’s public emergency communication centre logged 2 117 incidents at the weekend.

“Calls for medical assistance accounted for nearly 40% of all incidents recorded. In addition, the centre recorded 42 domestic violence incidents, 133 assaults, 47 motor vehicle accidents and 25 accidents involving pedestrians,” he said.

Among the incidents reported:

  • A small group of protesters tried to intimidate fuel station workers in Parklands, resulting in one arrest.
  • Attempts to burn debris in the roadway in Khayelitsha, Delft and Dunoon.
  • Two failed attempts to petrol bomb MyCiTi buses yesterday.
  • 100 protesters who gathered in Main Road towards Mowbray were dispersed by the SAPS.
  • A small group of protesters who tried to gather on Borcherds Quarry were pushed back by the SAPS and metro police.
  • Sporadic stone-throwing incidents in Maroela and Voortrekker roads, Kraaifontein, and at Klipfontein and Borcherds Quarry roads.

Smith said the City’s enforcement agencies would also keep an eye on the planned march to Parliament today.

Residents are reminded to phone 021 480 7700 from a cellphone and 107 from a landline to report any criminal activity or emergency.