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Cape Chamber of Commerce worried as businesses closed due to protests

On Friday morning a truck, three buildings, and several cars were set alight by protesters.

FILE: Philippi East police in the Western Cape. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Chamber of Commerce says it's distressing that there are businesses in the Philippi area that have not been able to operate for the last two days due to violent protests.

Philippi and several other communities across the Cape like Mitchells Plain, Parkwood and Vrygrond have seen a series of violent demonstrations over the past few months.

On Friday morning a truck, three buildings, and several cars were set alight by protesters.

Late last month in Gugulethu, protesters wrought havoc over a lack of housing.

Cape Chamber president Janine Myburgh says it's worrying that authorities are failing to put an end to the unrest centred around a lack of housing, land invasion and forced removals.

“Philippi is resembling a war zone, protestors are wreaking havoc. We have had reports from our members who cannot get to work or pay wages. This is particularly distressing as these employers often live from pay cheque to pay cheque.”

Myburgh adds these businesses are rate-payers and at the very least should have a safe environment in which to trade.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) late last month established a priority committee on protest action. One of the main aims of the committee is to protect the public against violent and illegal action by protesters.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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