Several townships in an around Tshwane woke up to major traffic disruptions and an increased police presence due to the Tshwane Total Shutdown ahead of the State of the City Address.
Total Shutdown action – first witnessed in the Western Cape and more recently in Alexandra, Johannesburg – is a protest movement designed to disrupt daily routine in an attempt to bring attention to a wide array of socioeconomic issues.
A poster promoting a “Total shutdown” of Tshwane has been shared widely on social media, with the slogan “the DA/EFF administration must go”.
ANC regional chairperson, Dr. Kgosi Maepa, said: “I’ve heard people are going to organise a shutdown. We are not against it because there is no service delivery in Hammanskraal.”
Disruptions in the capital started in the early hours of Thursday morning, following anonymous threats and flyer-drops earlier in the week.
Reasons for the protests in Tshwane reportedly include municipal billing as well as taxi fines and the impounding of taxis.
Roads were barricaded and tyres were burnt as residents in Hammanskraal, Mabopane and Soshanguve took to the streets in protest.
On Tuesday, Stinkwater Eersterust Taxi Association (SETA) and Ga-Rankuwa, Soshanguve, Hammanskraal Taxi Association (GSHTA) held a picket outside the Tshwane house, demanding that a memorandum on permits be accepted and approved by the powers that be. It’s alleged that this coincides with the Tshwane Total Shutdown experienced on Thursday.
Deputy President Mabuza, who has been actively campaigning for the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of the 8 May elections, was due to begin the Tshwane leg of his door-to-door tour on Thursday. The Shutdown protests, however, threw a spanner in the works, with concentrated action taking place in Hammanskraal; the suburb which was supposed to welcome Mabuza before midday.