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Authorities deploy extra forces to deal with CT shutdown protests

City authorities have confirmed there have been a few incidents of stone throwing as a total shutdown gets underway in 13 communities across the peninsula on Thursday morning.

Picture: Winnie Theletsane/EWN

CAPE TOWN - City authorities have confirmed there have been a few incidents of stone-throwing as a total shutdown gets underway in 13 communities across the peninsula on Thursday morning.

The City of Cape Town's Richard Bosman said they have deployed extra resources in all the affected areas.

"We had some stone-throwing and tyre burning on the M5 earlier in Parkwood but it has been opened again. We had some protesting in Ocean View but Kommetjie Road is open as the protesting is inside Ocean View. There's also been tyres burning and stone-throwing."

Several roads have been affected, including some of the main arterial routes into the city.

The protests have been spearheaded by a group called the Gatvol Capetonians Movement which are aimed at drawing attention to issues of housing on the peninsula.

Spokesperson Fadiel Adams said that the action has grown out of massive frustration around housing.

"There is absolutely nothing happening with the housing situation in the City of Cape Town. We have people on the council's waiting list since the bad old days of apartheid - 25 years, 30 years. People are turning into corpses in backyards. The manipulation of housing waiting lists... it is just total and utter madness, there's no plan for our people."

One of the communities taking part in the shutdown was Parkwood where a small group of residents was blocking the M5 highway. There were adamant that was the only way that they can get government's attention.

Residents complained about a lack of housing opportunities in their community.

Some of the residents said that they were tired of living in backyard dwellings and accused the government of making empty promises.

"People are practically living and sleeping in shifts because their places are so small... people are sleeping in bathrooms," one resident said.

"I've been on the waiting list for 26 years now. I've got nine grandchildren... I live in a cabin and it's smaller than a 1400 bakkie."

There was an altercation between police and protesters after officers allowed vehicles to pass on the M5.

Protesting residents tried to stop the cars and wanted them to turn around.

The Human Rights Commission's Chris Nissen was on scene to try and clam the tension.

"There was an incident where a motorist passed by and people stormed the car and luckily we were able to calm the situation in talking to the leadership and [shutdown organiser] Fadiel [Adams] and he brought the people back to where it is now. So we're trying to keep a distance between the protesters, the right to protest and also the rights of non-protesters."

Gatvol Capetonians member Fadiel Adams said that they were hoping for a peaceful gathering.

"When I arrived, all I saw were policemen pulling my members by their throats. We're not going to stand for that. We do not want confrontations with SAPS, I want to shake the policeman's hand as I walk off here but if he's going to touch my people, we are going to have a fight here today. It's a fight we're not going to lose."

The situation is calm at the moment.

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