Komani protest causes major traffic jam on N6

Chaotic scenes unfolded on the N6 earlier today when livid community members of Ezibeleni embarked on a protest action causing a major traffic jam which lasted for almost two hours, according to motorists.

The disgruntled group of residents blockaded the road on the route to East London with burning tyres and tree branches demanding the attention of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) officials. This follows intermittent power outages plaguing the area among other service delivery issues.

The residents had on Wednesday disrupted the Chris Hani State of the District Address by storming into the district municipality offices in Bells Road. A meeting was then held yesterday at the Ezibeleni Community Hall where EMLM officials addressed the crowd.
It was reported that residents held the officials hostage requesting that their matter be resolved. Upon negotiation, agreement to release the officials was tabled.

“We are here to close the N6 as a measure of getting municipal attention. We were given long and short term promises. We were told that there was a transformer on the way. They promised that they will be present when the transformer is installed on Thursday. Thursday came, they gave us a different story.”

“That is when residents decided to keep them inside the community hall so they can come up with another plan. They pleaded for their release so they can come up with solutions. A meeting was planned for today (Friday). We waited for more than three hours and no one came,” said one of the residents who did not want to be identified.

“We called all available contact numbers no one picked up hence we resorted to this. We understand that the people affected are not responsible but we are left with no choice,” she added.

Scores of vehicles were parked with motorists and commuters travelling from Johannesburg to East London attempting to find a way through. Minutes after the commotion, police officers managed to disperse the crowd by firing rubber bullets and stun grenades. Passing vehicles at the scene were reportedly pelted with stones.