Three Golden Arrow buses and a truck were set alight during violent protests at Makhaza in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats on Thursday morning, Traffic on the N2 and R300 outside the Cape Town CBD was disrupted for several hours due to protests in the area.
The police have managed to restore calm on the R300 and the N2 highway near Khayelitsha and nearby Delft as protesters embarked on sporadic protests burning tyres on the roads.
Mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says land invaders demanding services for areas they’re occupying in Khayelitsha, are behind the protests. Smith says some areas that have been illegally occupied are not suitable for habitation.
“The persons who invaded those structures are now demanding services. We have made it clear that that would not be possible. Many of the areas invaded are totally unsuitable for human habitation, one of it is a nature reserve, some of them are wetlands or private property. It is unrealistic to engage in protest action. Never mind that the protest action is violent and damaged public property, you engage people through proper structures and this kind of protest action and violent damage to public property must be strongly condemned.”
City of Cape Town Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Transport, Angus Mckenzie says he is disappointed by the incidents of violence.
“It is with sadness, disappointment and anger that we have learned of the torching of three Golden Arrow buses this morning in Khayelitsha. This action is absolutely disgusting and must be condemned in the strongest terms. A 4th bus was targeted but was able to escape. So many poor people are going to be affected by these terrorist acts. It is critical that SAPS leaves no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this absolute barbaric thuggery.”
Western Cape Education Minister, Debbie Schäfer says the department will make allowance for matric learners affected by transport disruptions due to protests in the morning.
Schäfer says her officials will engage with the national Department of Basic Education to schedule a backup paper in the event that large numbers of learners are unable to arrive at their venues on time.
“We are aware of the traffic blockages as a result of the N2 protests and the effect it’s having on matric learners. Matrics will be allowed to write if they can get to school by 10 o’clock this morning, and they will be given full time, if they cannot get there by ten o’clock unfortunately they will not be able to write today but there will be an opportunity to write again before the end of the year.”
SAPS’ Public Order Police and Metro police are monitoring the situation.