The police had their hands full yesterday as community protests gripped parts of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng.
The first protest started at 3am in Primrose, near Germiston, Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department spokesperson Kobedi Mokheseng said. “Residents there barricaded roads with rocks, burning tyres and rubble.
The roads that have been affected include Pretoria, Main Reef and Shamrock.
“Other areas that were affected by community protests include Geluksdaal and Makause in Tsakane.”
Mokheseng said the police arrested and charged four men for inciting violence and public violence. Also yesterday, police fired rubber bullets at protesters trying to loot tuckshops in Makause informal settlement.
By midday, Mokheseng said, the situation was calmer, but some roads were still closed to traffic due to barricades. “Police officers will remain in those affected areas and monitor them until such time as we are satisfied that calm has been completely restored,” he said.
The protests, believed to be over lack of service delivery, were reportedly sparked by the no-show of the executive mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina, at a scheduled meeting at the weekend.
The protests in Ekurhuleni came hot on the heels of those in Ennerdale, Eldorado Park and Finetown in recent weeks.
The situation in those areas in the south of Johannesburg has since returned to normal following meetings between community representatives and government leaders from both provincial and national level.
Meanwhile, in Vuwani in Limpopo, the services shutdown protest action was called off after residents were informed they would be serviced by the Vhembe District Municipality.
They have long been demanding that a decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board to merge Vuwani with Malamulele and other surrounding villages be reversed.
Speaking on behalf of the Pro-Makhado Demarcation Task Team, Nsovo Sambo said there was more than enough time to reverse the decision between now and the next local government elections.
The shutdown, which resulted in children barred from going to school and businesses closed for nearly a month, has since been called off.