Police continue to monitor Northern Areas protest - Stanford Road closed

MAY 11, 2017
Police continue to monitor Northern Areas protest - Stanford Road closed

The situation in Helenvale, Port Elizabeth, remains tense as police fought running battles with protesting residents, who had again blocked off the busy Stanford Road from Gail Road with burning tyres and were pelting passing cars with stones.

Drivers have been advised to avoid the area and to find alternative routes.

Reports suggested that armed local gangs and school children have also joined the protests.

It is not very clear why the residents are protesting - with some messages shared on social media hinting at frustrations over "empty promises" from Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality leaders, while others hinted at frustrations with gangsterism in the Northern Areas and other messages pointed fingers at the local taxi industry.

A message that circulated on social media on Wednesday read; "The Northern Areas are up in arms about gangsterism.

"On 2017-05-10 a  meeting was held at Algoa Taxi Association (ATA) and it was decided at a meeting to have all roads leading and exiting  the Northern Areas closed down. Taxis will not transport commuters as decided at the meeting.    This strike will commence at 03:00 on Thursday (2017-05-11) and will be continuing for two (2) days.   SAPS vigilance advised.

"The Algoa taxi Association called two public meetings with their operators   to arrange road closures and tyre burning on 11 May 2017 from  between 03h00 and 04h00.

"The road that is targeted at this stage is Stanford Road. The idea is to protest for two days; that is on 11 and 12 May 2017.

"REMARKS:
Cluster Commander Brig Meyer, Gelvandale Station Commander Brig Macala, Bethelsdorp Station Commander Brig Xawuka and POPS-PE Captain Matam were informed. Situation is being monitored."

Protests were also reported along the Old Uitenhage Road and in Booysens Park on Thursday morning.

Police are monitoring the situation.

Image: Courtesy of Marlon Daniels via Facebook