Police have fired rubber bullets and teargas at hundreds of protesters from four wards of the Libode based Nyandeni municipality in the Eastern Cape as protests became violent.

Mayor Mesuli Ngqondwana tried to address the protesters after a blockade of the R61 between Libode and Port St Johns.

The protesters demand the tarring of the T34 road from St Barnabas Hospital to Hluleka Nature Reserve. The residents say they have complained about the 48 kilometre gravel road since 2011, but nothing has been done.