Worked stopped on project due to protest

Eastern Cape, 13 February 2019: Violent protest action along the R61 between Libode and Ntlaza, near Mthatha and Port St Johns, has prevented motorists from accessing the road and caused work on the R61 to come to a stop, SANRAL has warned.

According to media reports the protest action, which started yesterday (Tuesday), was because of residents’ anger toward the Provincial Department of Transport for not surfacing a 48km gravel stretch, between St Barnabas hospital in Ntlaza and the Hluleka nature reserve near Ngqeleni. Police also fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and teargas at hundreds of angry villagers and taxi operators around midday to quell the protest.

Earlier today (Wednesday) disgruntled residents protesting on the R61, threatened the Tractor Loader Backhoe (TLB) operator to destroy, damage or sabotage road infrastructure rendering it unsafe for motorists. The police were on scene again today.

“At this time, it is unclear when the R61 will open. All work has stopped within the Nyandeni area of the contract due to safety concerns. Motorists are asked to use caution and consider alternative routes via the N2”, said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.

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