Police on high alert after PTA protest

Informal traders are trying to convince Tshwane municipal managers to meet with them.

Hawkers in Marabastad in central Pretoria protest against the confiscation of their stock by police on 22 August, 2012. Police used water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds after the hawkers intimidated business owners and looted shops. Picture: Christa van der Walt/Eyewitness News.

MARABASTAD - Informal traders in the City of Tshwane on Wednesday said protests were part of a four-day operation to convince municipal managers to meet with them.

Earlier in the day, Marabastad hawkers took to the streets for a second day after a police clean-up operation destroyed their businesses.

They said they were sick and tired of metro officers taking their stock and accusing them of trading illegally.

Hawkers trashed parts of the city centre during an illegal march to Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa's office.

Protest leader Strike Sibake said hawkers were not given a chance to voice their grievances with Tshwane city management.

He said the point of the mass action was to force officials to commit themselves to working with traders.

Meanwhile, Tshwane metro police will remain on high alert to ensure disorder does not erupt again.

On Wednesday, offers used rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse the protesters.

Shops in the area were forced to shut down after hawkers intimidated owners, threatening to trash the shops if they reopened.