Violent protest action along the R61 between Libode and Ntlaza, near Mthatha and Port St Johns, on Wednesday 13 February prevented motorists from accessing the road and caused work on the R61 to come to a stop, SANRAL said.
“The protest action, which started on 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,” Sanral said. Police had fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and teargas at hundreds of angry villagers and taxi operators around midday to quell the protest.
“Yesterday (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,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.
“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, OPeterson said yesterday”
SANRAL would like to notify road users that the R61 between Libode and Ntlaza, near Mthatha and Port St Johns, has re-opened to traffic.
“The two-day strike action ended yesterday, and normal traffic flow has resumed,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.