Cape Town – A protest by residents of Masiphumelele to draw attention to land issues in the community cut the Cape Town Cycle Tour short on Sunday.
Seventeen residents were arrested in the early hours of Sunday, March 12, after they blocked a road next to the township, GroundUp reports.
Residents were unhappy with the response of ward councillor Felicity Purchase to a memorandum which they handed over on February 14. The demolition of shacks, the unavailability of land and the lack of electricity in some areas were some of their concerns.
The protest resulted in the cycle tour being significantly shortened from 109km to 78km, with cyclists being diverted over Glencairn Expressway so that they avoid Masiphumelele. The cycle tour was then completely abandoned due to high winds.
On March 12 protesting residents were quickly dispersed by metro police and SAPS with rubber bullets. Police patrolled the area, shooting rubber bullets and teargas until about 09:00.
Those going to work had to catch taxis outside Masiphumelele as both entrances to Masiphumelele were closed all day.