#TotalShutdownCT: Motorists told to brace for traffic disruptions

Last month, scores of residents shut down a section of Voortrekker Road to ventilate their frustrations over high crime levels.

Cape Town residents march to Parliament 20 September 2018, calling for more police resources in communities where gang violence is rife. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Communities across the city are taking a stand against crime on Tuesday morning.

From Ottery to Kensington, a series of protests are planned in a desperate bid to bring fresh attention to the scourge. Residents in areas including Kensington, Bonteheuwel, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Kraaifontein and Hanover Park are set to take to the streets on Tuesday morning. Major roadways are expected to be affected.

The City of Cape Town's Richard Bosman warns that there could serious traffic disruptions.

“We have been engaging with SAPS since the message has been doing the rounds on social media. Our staff, including law enforcement, traffic and SAPS will be deployed jointly, especially to the Voortrekker Road area and Bonteheuwel which were problematic the last time.”

Last month, scores of residents shut down a section of Voortrekker Road to ventilate their frustrations over high crime levels.

However, deadly shootings continue unabated and have had a devastating impact on the lives of many locals, such as the Williams family.

It was always a comfortable and welcoming space, filled with conversation, love, laughter and neatly decked out with furniture and decor pieces. But today, the Williams family’s living room in Matroos Plein, Factreton, is cold and empty, with nothing but a glass chandelier left hanging.

Caroline Williams, aged 87, has called this home for 62 years. She remembers the day in July 1956 when she, her husband Basil, and her children moved in.

“I was just overwhelmed and happy. I got my own little house and had lovely neighbours who made me happy.”

But gang violence has spiralled out of control and the Williams’ have had enough. The couple has sold their home and will be moving in with one of their daughters.

“The shooting going around here, I can’t take it. There’ve been many shots on my house, even my room. When the bullets came in my husband was still on the bed and the police found the bullet just behind my bedstead.”

WATCH: Gangsterism forces elderly CT couple out of their home

Williams, like authorities, has very few suggestions as to how to tackle the problem except for deploying more police officers.

Francis Jaftha, her daughter, says her parents are moving to a safer area in the neighbourhood, as gangs are fighting over turf.

“It wasn’t an easy task for her to pack up, but she had to pack up just for her safety and my dad’s. He can’t help himself as he’s on crutches.”

Jaftha says that gang bullets have struck her parents' home on several occasions, leaving them fearful and panicked.

She says it breaks her heart to see her parents pack up and leave their home that holds 62 years of memories. Jaftha recalls growing up in Factreton.

“I have many good memories. We could play outside, but not now. By 5pm, my mom has to be inside now. She can’t even enjoy the sun because she’s too scared to sit outside.”

PROTEST PERMIT

The City of Cape Town says it hasn't issued a permit for a series of total shutdown protests planned for Tuesday in various communities across Cape Town.

Bosman said: “The two areas that have been specifically mentioned on social media where there has not been any official application are the Kensington area, where there has been a similar action before, and also in Bonteheuwel.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)