Tshwane Shutdown protesters have refused to hand over their memorandum of demands to a presidency official at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The group is calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to personally receive their grievances.
The march, however, had a poor turnout despite widespread social media campaigns.
A storm in a tea cup – that’s the best description for what was supposed to be a shutdown of the capital city. It was business as usual for many Pretoria residents.
Tshwane shutdown organisers had promised a 12 000-strong crowd to march to Union Buildings, but it was a different picture on the ground.
The African National Congress (ANC) in Tshwane and taxi association, Santacom distanced themselves from the march.
Organisers cried foul, blaming the poor turnout on sabotage.
“Things are operating, but the hawkers, Street traders, are not selling. Taxi drivers will be coming. The problem is we got an issue of sabotage probably because of government,” says Makgoka Lekganyane, the Shutdown Tshwane organiser.
The few people that showed up raised their service delivery concerns.
“We want houses, government is failing us. They promised us houses and work but they are failing. The rate of unemployment is high, I don’t see why we voting. My vote is to help them get into positions,” the people says.
Meanwhile,, the City of Tshwane has called the march illegal, arguing the organisers failed to meet requirements.
“Anybody by law is permitted able to march and protest, but they should do that peacefully. They are not supposed to infringe the rights of other people. That’s one; two, if they come to us … there are processes that you have to meet. If you don’t meet them we are not going to approve your march,” says Senior Superintendent of the Tshwane Metro Police, Isaac Mahamba.
Despite not having permission, the march went ahead to the Union Buildings. A presidency official was rejected and the organisers demanded a response directly from the President.
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