The protest at Lamontville, south of Durban started on Monday but has continued to travel out of control, spreading to Mobeni and forcing road closures along the N2 highway on Tuesday morning.
On Monday morning, frustrated residents took to the streets to protest against the disconnection of illegal electrical lines in Lamontville, with protesters targeting the local eThekwini municipal offices.
The angry protesters blocked roads with debris and burning tires. They also set about six government vehicles ablaze . The Sizakala Centre in Lamontville, which was in use by the South African Social Security Agency to deliver welfare grants, was also torched.
Msawakhe Mayisela, spokesperson for the eThekwini municipality, confirmed that members of South African Police Service (SAPS) fought running battles with the destructive protesters. Mayisela condemned the violent protest action, labelling the burning of state vehicles and infrastructure as tantamount to treason.
As a result, enforcement officials closed the road section between the M4 Southern Freeway exit and therefore the M1 Higginson Highway.
The disconnection of illegal power sparked the protest but the protesters also complained about the shortage of general service delivery in their area.
Watch protests below
Lamontville residents are surely proud if themselves......... congratulation bo mlilo, nina bo hlase... bo shibase no brutus pic.twitter.com/Aro7wN0DSy
— MissLoverLover (@MissQabs) July 20, 2020
The DA in eThekwini calls on Thanduxolo Sabelo and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human settlements, Peggy Nkonyeni to swiftly intervene in the chaos that has erupted in Lamontville resulting in the burning of municipal infrastructure, including vehicles. pic.twitter.com/bOYNuNLBW1
— DA KZN (@DA_KZN) July 20, 2020