Intense protest action at Intabazwe location in Harrismith which started last month, has reached boiling point and is now affecting traffic on the N3 highway.
N3 Toll Concessions warned motorists to approach the area with “extreme caution”.
14h44 15/06 #ProtestAlert: Protest action in the vicinity of Intabazwe Location, Harrismith. The road is currently closed. Law enforcement is on scene, monitoring the situation. Motorists are advised to approach the area with extreme caution.
— N3 Toll Concession (@N3Route) June 15, 2021
Police are monitoring the scene.
According to reports, protesters began throwing rocks on the N3 next to the Bergview Complex, to which police retaliated with rubber bullets.
— Rob Beezy (@TrafficSA) June 15, 2021
Cars and trucks on the N3 are now queuing as a result of the road closure.
However, Harrismith police’s Brigadier Motantsi Makhele assured the road has subsequently been opened after police managed to disperse the angry crowds.
Pleas for Ramaphosa to intervene
Protesters said last month that the Maluti a Phofong municipality had failed them. On Tuesday they renewed their call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene.
Demonstrators say water, roads, toilets and electricity are all failing and they want to separate from the municipality, but also do not want to fall under QwaQwa, some 47km away.
Intabazwe community forum chairperson Mbuyiselo Shabalala told GroundUp they had been submitting memorandums to the municipality and inviting government representatives to the village to see the situation for themselves, but no one had ever come to their assistance.
In a previous protest, schools and shops were forced to close.
A 35-year-old truck driver also lost his life after he was pelted with stones by protesters, resulting in him veering off the N5, OFM News reported.