Uncertainty surrounding Diepsloot planned service delivery ‘shutdown’

A Police officer is seen clearing rubble along the N14 highway near Diepsloot where residents took to blocking the roads and highway during a service delivery protest, 10 July 2017, Johannesburg. Picture: Jacques Nelles

A Police officer is seen clearing rubble along the N14 highway near Diepsloot where residents took to blocking the roads and highway during a service delivery protest, 10 July 2017, Johannesburg. Picture: Jacques Nelles

If the planned shutdown goes ahead, it will affect motorists, schools, taxi operations, and construction projects.

Police are on high alert following threats of a service delivery protest ‘shutdown’ in Diepsloot, west of Johannesburg.

This after a message has been doing the rounds on social media that the township would be “closed down” on Monday and Tuesday, reports Centurion Rekord.

Among the demands in the message are that “local leaders” want money to be made available to supply electricity to all the informal settlements in the area.

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Another demand is for all “undocumented” (i.e. foreign) residents to leave the area.

Police spokesperson Captain Makgowanyana Maja said the circulating message could not be confirmed as either bogus or legitimate.

“We are, however, aware of it and ready to deal with it,” he said.

If true, the shutdown will see road closures of major highways such as the R511 and the N14, which link Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Schools will apparently be disrupted as well as taxi operations and construction projects.

“No one is going to work,” the message read.

“N14 and R511 will be totally shut down.”

The message further said no shops would be open on the days, including malls.

Maja said there was an operational plan in place, which could not be divulged.

Residents divided

Fears of looting and xenophobic attacks may put the planned shutdown on hold, with EWN reporting that some leaders in the community have urged residents not to participate in demonstrations.

It is also reported that an ANC faction is allegedly behind the call for a shutdown.

(Additional reporting by Nica Schreuder)

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