Frustrated Hanover Park residents gathered as early as 6am at Freedom Square to shut down the area to demand an end to the constant bloodshed on the streets. Organiser Mansoer Arendse said the aim behind the shutdown is to force the government to intervene.
“The aim of the shutdown is to create awareness around the situation faced by our community. Our children are not safe, and all our calls seem to fall on deaf ears. There is absolutely no police visibility in the area and we are not even sure if the government knows how we constantly have to live in fear and watch our community being destroyed by criminals,” he said.
A community member participating in the shutdown said residents are desperately trying to get the attention of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“We are trying to get the presidents attention and we have no choice but to embark on protest action and marches. Government need to realise that our children are dying, and nothing is being done. We are fed up and we demand the necessary action to be taken,” he said.
Voicing her frustration, a local resident said she is disgusted at how police came out in their numbers today but are nowhere to be seen when there are shootings in the area.
“The system does not work for us. We as the community end up having to do the jobs of the police and what is even more disgusting is the amount of police officials present at our peaceful march, but they are never available when our children are killed,” she said.
The City of Cape Town’s Richard Coleman said various roads were blocked in peak hour morning traffic, which caused havoc for motorists. By 10am, the roads had reopened.
“Due to a Hanover Park shutdown, Hanover Park Avenue is closed at Govan Mbeki Road with no traffic into Hanover Park Avenue. Hanover Park Avenue has also been closed at Surran Road in the direction of Govan Mbeki Road,” he said.
There were also reports that buses are being blocked from entering the area.
The Plain Park Taxi Association’s Vice-Chairperson Shareef Edwards said they were not informed of any protest action and taxis were expected to operate as per normal.
“We will be operating as per normal. Our passengers can be assured that we will try our absolute best to keep them safe,” he stated.
Protestors had started dispersing at 10am and things returned to normal.