Police maintain strong presence in Hangberg

Violent protests broke out in the area earlier this morning where angry residents set four cars alight.

A police van parked outside block of flats in Hangberg on 30 September 2014 following violent protests in the area. Picture: Chanel September/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The situation in Hangberg remains calm following violent protests this morning where angry demonstrators went on the rampage, setting four cars alight.

The situation in the area near Hout Bay has returned to normal after this morning's chaos and the road leading to it has reopened.

The smell of smoke still hangs in the air and rubble can also be seen strewn across a section of the road.

It's understood the protests occurred after the arrest of a local resident for allegedly building structures illegally along the firebreak.

Police and city law enforcement officials are keeping a close eye on the area.

Meanwhile, some residents have held an impromptu community meeting following this morning's protests after the Hout Bay Harbour, a municipal building and a block of flats were also targeted.

A Hangberg community leader has called on residents to gather outside a local block of flats to discuss what led to this morning's protests.

But one resident told Eyewitness News the chaos was inevitable because people want houses.

"Where must our children go and build houses if there's no land that we can live on?"

Community leader Roscoe Jacobs says it echoes similar violent demonstrations in 2010.

Residents claim a man who was arrested is in a critical condition after allegedly being assaulted by police.