Traffic north of Johannesburg is backing up as a result of
protest action spilling over onto the N3 highway.
Alexandra has been the site of fierce protest action on Wednesday, with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) struggling to contain the dissidence. Despite law enforcement’s best efforts, a crowd of protesters managed to make their way onto the N3 highway. The major route was severely disrupted between the Modderfontein offramp and the London Road exit.
Joburg traffic disrupted by protesters
— Mandi (@Mbuyazi_) April 3, 2019
— Johan Theron (@JTheron84) April 3, 2019
With all roads into Alexandra effectively barricaded by
disgruntled residents, traffic came to a standstill in the afternoon, with JMPD
spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, urging motorists to stay
clear of the area. Burning debris and boulders littering the streets forced
drivers to double back and find alternative routes.
Minaar reported that while two northbound lanes on the N3 had been reopened to accommodate rush-hour traffic, reports of protesters stoning vehicles from pedestrian bridges were a cause for serious concern. Shortly before 17:00, a large contingent of law enforcement officers were on-site to deal with any cases of vandalism and traffic disturbances.
Alex Total Shutdown
— OFI. (@MashabaOfentse1) April 3, 2019
It’s been a fiery day for Alexandra. Tensions, as a result of poor service delivery, reached a boiling point before dawn on Wednesday. Community members awoke to flames on the street. The Alex Total Shutdown, openly endorsed by the African National Congress (ANC), highlighted the plight of residents who are disillusioned with the lack of good-governance.
Herman Mashaba, Mayor of the City of Johannesburg – a municipality run by the Democratic Alliance (DA) – has copped much of the protester’s dissfatisfaction. Mashaba has, however, hit back, arguing that not only are the qualms of residents a result of poor governance and corruption propagated during the tenure of the ANC but, also, insinuating that tensions have been purposefully inflamed by ward councillors belonging to the ruling party.
Mashaba added that while he sympathised deeply with the resident of Alexandra, the very real issues of illegal land occupations should not be molded to suit a political agenda.