All calm following Jo’burg service delivery unrest

The Golden highway was opened to traffic about 7am on Tuesday following a violent protest on Monday that left a Johannesburg metro policeman injured, metro police said.

“We’ve just opened the Golden highway to traffic, it is now safe,” Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

He said that police would keep a close watch on the area where angry residents pelted police vans with stones and burnt tyres on Monday.

Protesting Orange Farm residents began demonstrating at about 1am on Monday and at about 3pm the 1 500 resident started pelting police with stones and damaging their vans in the process.

Police retaliated by firing teargas and rubber bullets and arrested 30 people for public violence.

A metro police official was sent to Lenmed hospital in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, after he was injured on his leg during the protest.

The protest came just hours after Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane delivered her address to the opening of the provincial legislature, declaring 2010 a year of improved service delivery.

“It is the year for all of us to work together to speed up service delivery. Our people cannot wait any longer,” she said.

Monday’s protests in Orange Farm follows similar flare ups in Balfour, and other parts of the country, as residents vent their anger at the slow pace of service delivery. — Sapa

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