By Lukhangele Mayende
Protests in Makhanda have seen the crucial N2 road blockaded by protestors, bringing the flow of traffic to a complete halt between Gqeberha and Grahamstown (Makhanda).
Images and video footage of businesses being forced to close and students at Rhodes University being forced out of labs and lecture rooms have also emerged.
A frustrated Makhanda facebook user Eloise Nadine De Klerk ranted online and said, “There is almost never water, our roads are in a bad state and are barely existent in the townships and there is a shortage of teachers at schools … the list goes on!”
Meanwhile, other protests have also been reported in Gqeberha and in Stutterheim, with equally crippling effects to people’s livelihoods and economy.
Transport MEC in the province Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe condemns the violent protests that are disrupting the economy of the province.
“While the government understands and respects the right to protest, it also has a responsibility to ensure that such protests are carried within the ambit of the law. Law enforcement officers have been dispatched to all the affected areas, to restore some order and assist where possible,” said Tikana-Gxothiwe.
On behalf of the provincial government, Tikana-Gxothiwe has apologized to all those that have been affected by the protests. She has also pledged government’s commitment to engagement with the aggrieved parties to seek amicable solutions to their problems rather than resorting to protests.