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.
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.
DIEPSLOOT TOTAL SHUTDOWN DECLARED
DATE : 15th – 16th July 2019 ( Monday and Tuesday)
Wake up Time : 04h00 morning
1. ESKOM must come down to Diepsloot and fix their mess
2. Energy Dept must released budget to Electrify all Informal Settlemen… https://t.co/b8qRPZTd8a
— Concerned Citizens (@CPFWierda) July 14, 2019
“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.
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.
Community leaders in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg say they have suspended a planned shutdown that was supposed to take place tomorrow, citing fears of looting and xenophobic attacks. #sabcnews
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) July 14, 2019
It is also reported that an ANC faction is allegedly behind the call for a shutdown.
(Additional reporting by Nica Schreuder)