Protests across Johannesburg continue into second day

Protests across Johannesburg continue into second day

August 1, 2023

Despite assurances by the South African Police Services (Saps) that the N12 highway south of Johannesburg had been cleared of service delivery protestors, it was closed again today by mid-morning as a truck was deliberately parked across it.

After being closed for most of yesterday, it was cleared early this morning.

Protestors were dispersed and obstacles placed on the highway to stop traffic were removed. 

The impact of this on road freight movement in Gauteng was immediately felt as the N12 is part of a busy ring road around Johannesburg that serves as a major transport artery for the city.

At lunchtime today it was reported by 702 that truck drivers were attempting to get off the highway by turning their trucks around, fearing the possibility of hijacking.

Coming soon after a spate of arson attacks against targeting road freight operators using key highways in KwaZulu-Natala, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, fears were that trucks could be set alight in support of protest action.

It was also reported that Saps had used rubber bullets to stop the N12 blockade.

Residents of various areas responded by hurling rocks at police and colleagues from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said: “Motorists are urged to exercise caution.

“Officers have been deployed and vehicles are being diverted from Golden Highway and Klipspruit Valley Road. Motorists can use those routes joining R554 Nirvana Drive in Lenasia and the main road in Eldorado Park as alternative routes.”

Today’s action follows Monday’s activities when angry residents took to the streets to protest against service delivery failures in the area.

They say the nearby Slovo Park informal settlement hasn’t had access to running tap water for years.

The group of protesters are focusing their stoppage on the highway south of Johannesburg where it is blocked off between Klipspruit Valley Road and the Golden Highway.

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