Protests erupt over increased insecurity and cost of living

Peaceful Assembly

During the first weeks of October 2018, several towns in Johannesburg experienced protests by residents following the killing of a woman during a crossfire shooting allegedly between gangs while she walked her son home from school. Protesting against the continuous crime in the area, drug dealing and the corruption within the police force in dealing with these issues, residents in Westbury burnt tyres and blocked roads, demanding that security forces be deployed to the area to tackle the increasing crime.

Solidarity protests also erupted in other areas of Johannesburg such as Ennerdale. Activists in Cape Town also issued a statement in solidarity with the Johannesburg protests, where they demanded training of police officers on protest management, due to the "heavy handedness" in the way the police deal with protesters. 

Two people were arrested for public violence and were later released. 

On 12th September 2018, residents of the Cape flat community in the Western Cape province blockaded roads in protest against increasing crimes, mostly perpetuated by gangs. According to crime statistics released a few days before the protest, the Western Cape had 808 gang-related murders in 2017r, a figure which translated to 83 percent of the total figure nationally. The crimes have mostly been concentrated in Cape Flats suburbs such as Bishop Lavis‚ Elsies River‚ Kensington and Bonteheuwel.

As the wave of protests continued, on 25th September 2018, it was reported that protestors blocked several roads in the Western Cape province to demonstrate against poverty. The protestors decried the growing unemployment rates, and the lack of economic access to other basic needs such as food, water, electricity and transportion. Also highlighted was the increasing crime rates in the area.

Tags: protest