Strong police presence as tensions mount in Grabouw

Police have arrested 11 people in connection with the ongoing protests.

Protesters in Grabouw in the Western Cape block the road during a demonstration over the lack of housing, poor and expensive electricity supply and bad road conditions on Tuesday, 16 September 2014. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Police have taken up positions on high ground in Grabouw, surrounding an informal settlement where thousands of people have been protesting over poor service delivery.

It's the second day of violent clashes between demonstrators and police in the Overberg town.

Shops were looted throughout last night and today while rubble and tyres have been set alight and cars stoned along the N2.

Police have surrounded the Hillside informal settlement and are closely monitoring the situation.

Several tear gas canisters and rubber bullet shells lie scattered around them.

In the distance, smoke billows from pieces of dry ground that have been set alight.

The N2 highway remains closed due to stone throwing.

At the same time, police have arrested 11 people in connection with the ongoing protests.

Earlier, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer laid criminal charges against the leadership of several groups she says are fuelling the violence.

She says schooling been disrupted by the unrest. Over 6,000 learners have apparently been affected.

Schafer has laid charges against the African National Congress, the Ses'Khona People's Rights Movement and the Grabouw Civic Association.

She claims to have evidence these groups are behind the violent protest.

Schafer said the charges relate to the South African Schools Act.