Motorists stoned as protesters block N14 highway in Centurion

13 July 2018 - 07:07 By TimesLIVE
Protesters have blocked the N14 highway approaching the R55 in Centurion on July 13 2018.
Protesters have blocked the N14 highway approaching the R55 in Centurion on July 13 2018.
Image: Twitter/@GTP_Traffstats

A protest on the R55 is affecting Centurion residents‚ as demonstrators burn tyres and set up barricades while on the N14‚ protesters are on a bridge throwing burning material and rocks onto passing cars.

TrafficSA advised motorists to avoid the area.

The Olievenhoutbosch protest appears to be related to a simmering dispute about people from an informal settlement illegally moving into RDP houses.

The Economic Freedom Fighters in Gauteng said on Friday it represented a community fighting eviction in Olievenhoutbosch.

The party said it “hereby puts both the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Human Settlements Uhuru Moiloa and the Executive Mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga on warning. The MEC for threatening evictions in Olievenhoutbosch and wasting taxpayers’ monies on court processes to get an eviction order to put our community out in the cold; The Executive Mayor (must) commence the electrification‚ water and sanitation infrastructure installation process…”

Monitoring group Municipal IQ said service delivery protests in 2018 are at an all-time quarterly record. It measured 101 protests between April and June‚ against a previous record of 73 for the second quarter of 2017.

Karen Heese‚ economist at Municipal IQ‚ said: “Service delivery protests for this year are more than likely to reach a record high; already accounting 9% of all protests recorded since 2004.”

The worst affected province this year has been the Eastern Cape‚ followed by Gauteng‚ with a noticeable uptick in the Western Cape and Free State.

Heese said: “The footprint of protest activity is increasingly evident across a diverse range of communities; from cities to rural areas‚ with the range of issues including growing demands for housing and job opportunities in urban areas to basic services and better governance in smaller municipalities.”

Kevin Allan‚ MD of Municipal IQ‚ said: “Service delivery protests have become a daily feature of South African life with an alarming increase in violent confrontations between protesters and police. As a result‚ the opportunity for communities to engage constructively on grievances is lost and municipalities need to work to ensure that channels for such communication remain accessible and relevant.”