Gauteng shutdown organisers plan to go ahead with demonstrations

They want intervention from President Cyril Ramaphosa over what they claim is the socio-economic exclusion of the coloured demographic.

Westbury residents walk towards police during an anti-crime protest on 1 October 2018. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – A group of residents from several predominantly coloured communities intends to go ahead with their planned shutdown in Gauteng on Friday.

They want intervention from President Cyril Ramaphosa over what they claim is the socio-economic exclusion of the coloured demographic.

Friday's planned demonstrations come amid anger in Westbury where residents who were protesting over crime said they felt coloured communities are being neglected.

The Gauteng shutdown co-ordinating committee's Anthony Williams says that areas, including Eldorado Park and Riverlea, will join the demonstration.

“For long our voices have been suppressed and nobody is taking note of us but this at least is giving us an opportunity to voice our concerns and get everybody on board.”

POLICE DEPLOYED

The police’s tactical response team and national intervention unit have now been deployed to the streets of crime-ridden Westbury to stabilise tensions.

However, communities from the greater Johannesburg south region are planning a total shutdown for Friday, saying government’s intervention is too little, too late.

Gauteng shutdown organiser Brendon Rousseau said the aim of Friday’s action is to inconvenience motorists and show government how serious communities are about ending crime.

“They are sick and tired of marginalisation, they want work. We will fight this government, we cannot continue being the scum of this country.”

Meanwhile, in Westbury Police Minister Bheki Cele has introduced tactical response team members to stablise the area.

“If they want to play with their toys, their guns, now they can come,” Cele says.

The minister also said officers have a list of 20 suspected criminals wanted for serious crimes.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)