Sat, 14 Dec 2019

All roads affected by protests have been cleared and the City of Cape Town has advised it will keep an eye on the protest action that rocked the CBD on Friday as commuters prepared to head home.

On Friday afternoon, the City tweeted that Sir Lowry Road had been reopened after being closed between Russell and Tennant streets due to stone throwing.

All roads have now been reopened in and around the station deck, according to City spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout.

She said no road closures were in place, "just high-visible patrols".

Traffic was still slow-moving out of the CBD along all major routes, Bezuidenhout added.

Earlier on Friday, minibus taxis blocked roads in the CBD, slowing down traffic and causing "heavy delays" out of the city, the City's traffic services said.

Bezuidenhout said traffic authorities and the police were engaging with drivers to ease the delays.

Christiaan Barnard Street was closed in both directions, between Hertzog Boulevard and Tennant Street, as taxis blocked the road.

Traffic along the N2 outbound, at the M5, was also slow-moving.

Nelson Mandela Boulevard in- and out-bound was blocked at Searle Street. The road had since reopened, Bezuidenhout said.

On the N2 out-bound at Raapenberg Road, tow trucks had removed taxis, she added. At 14:45, the road was reopened.

Tyres were also set alight in the left lane of the N2 out-bound at Bhunga Avenue.

Bezuidenhout was unable to say if the unrest was related to Tuesday's action in which taxi drivers protested over the issuing of warrants during afternoon traffic, blocking roads.

Commuters had been threatened and violently forced out of minibuses, News24 reported.

The action was condemned by the mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, who slammed the "violent reaction to the rule of law", in which a police officer was assaulted and robbed of his firearm.

The unrest was believed to have been related to the issuing of warrants and impounding of illegal taxis during an operation on Tuesday, the fact that they were fined in the first place, and the fine amount, Smith said at the time.

Fines, he pointed out, were set by the provincial government.

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