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Soweto’s Rea Vaya bus protests a warning of things to come

Residents set to march on Johannesburg mayor’s office on Tuesday to air grievances

20 June 2022 - 11:33
Protesters plan to march from Soweto to Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse's offices on Tuesday to voice their dissatisfaction over service delivery issues. File photo.
Protesters plan to march from Soweto to Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse's offices on Tuesday to voice their dissatisfaction over service delivery issues. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell

Monday’s protest about service delivery and electricity issues by Soweto residents, which led to the shutdown of Rea Vaya bus services in the township, was a warning of things to come.

Protest organisers warned that the shutdown, which saw major roads in the area closed, would culminate in a march expected to take place from Soweto on Tuesday.

Nobala Nonkelela, one of the organisers of Monday’s protest, said: “It was a slow shutdown to prepare people for tomorrow.”

She said disgruntled residents were expected to deliver a petition to the office of Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse.

Nonkelela said residents would meet at 8am on Tuesday at Maponya Mall and would be transported to Peter Ross Park on Empire Road.

“We will then march to the mayor’s office.”

Residents want the city to address service delivery and electricity issues in the area.

In some parts of Soweto, including Pimville and Diepkloof, residents blockaded roads with debris, bricks and burning tyres early on Monday morning.

Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) spokesperson Xolani Fihla said Chris Hani Road, which was littered with bricks and burning tyres, remained closed to traffic between Maponya Mall and Modjadji Street.

“There are also traffic disruptions on Koma Road in Jabulani and in Moletsane, which is blocked off between Legwale Street and Bulani Road.”

He said the JMPD had also received reports of overnight closures on the Soweto Highway in Diepkloof, near Immink Drive.

“While the situation is calm at the moment, with officers deployed to affected areas, motorists are urged to exercise extreme caution and where possible to use alternative routes.”

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