Protesting shackdwellers destroy traffic light, rip cables from ground

Tammy Petersen, News24

Cape Town - Protesters on Wednesday destroyed a traffic light, damaged a law enforcement vehicle and ripped electricity cables from the ground during a protest at the Siqalo informal settlement near Mitchells Plain, the City of Cape Town said.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said Jakes Gerwel Drive, between the R300 and Morgenster Road, was temporarily closed after about 50 protesters hurled stones at passing vehicles.

The reason for the protest was not immediately clear, he said, but there was an "element of criminality and hooliganism".

On Wednesday morning, traffic was disrupted as residents protested along the main road running alongside the settlement, Smith said.

"Repairs will be at the cost of ratepayers as this needless vandalism will have to be fixed. That money could have gone toward services delivery to this very area."

Metro Police Deputy Chief Yolande Faro said that, while the temporary road closure may inconvenience motorists, it was a necessary precaution to protect the public.

City authorities and police were monitoring the area.