Cape Town- The Total Shutdown movement is moving ahead with its commemorative protest action in Cape Town on Wednesday.
The movement plans to close arterial roads such as the M7, Jakes Gerwel, the Stellenbosch Arterial, Valhalla Drive and Voortrekker Road from 5am to 10am.
Demonstrators are protesting against government’s inaction over the increasing levels of crime, violence and poverty in Cape Town.
The movement staged a similar protest a year ago, but says none of its demands have been met by those in power.
One of the organisers, Nadia Mayman De Grass, says all spheres of government have failed to create material change in impoverished communities on the Cape Flats.
According to De Grass, authorities only pay attention to their pleas when they disrupt economic activity.
She’s asked for Cape Town residents to show their solidarity and support the shutdown.
“Last year, we took to the streets demanding that government hears our plea on the Cape Flats and working-class communities. None of our demands have been met, one year on.”
“We have engaged government on all spheres, for the last five years. Our communities are still same nothing has change. Instated we have more drug dealers on our streets.”
“On the Cape Flats, we suffer genocide on a daily basis,” De Grass said.
Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town’s JP Smith says it is provincial and national governments who have failed to come to the table to address the demands of the movement.
Smith says that while he recognises the need to protest, he says demonstrators should not damage infrastructure or prohibit the movement of others.
I plead with organisers not to punish poor communities. Don’t shut down roads for communities that are already experiencing pain. Shutting down roads is not the answer. If you have a problem, take it to the national minister.
— JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security – City of Cape Town
“If you want to protest, take the argument or the fight to the people who need to hear you,” he added.