Urgent interventions in Cookhouse community welcomed

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
Shadow MEC for Safety and Security

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the fact that five arrests have been made concerning the blockading in the N10 road of the Cookhouse area.

This comes in the wake of at least ten occasions when the road has been blockaded since 20 October 2020. These blockades cause massive damage to our economy as the N10 is a major road linking Port Elizabeth to the Hinterlands.

This was revealed by Community Safety MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, in response to parliamentary questions from the DA.

See Response: IQP 7 Q 165

I am also informed that the Department of Community Safety held a meeting with stakeholders last week in the Cookhouse area to resolve this ongoing conflict. The feedback received from the meeting was very positive, and a tentative agreement was reached in that the road will not continue to be blockaded.

I commend the Department of Community Safety for its action in this regard.

A capable state would ensure that the constitutional right to freedom of movement is not infringed upon, and that any form of lawlessness is immediately dealt with.

Having been caught in the middle of one of these blockades myself, I am fully aware of the frustration that is experienced.

It is vital that the SAPS continues to monitor this situation very carefully and ensures that anyone involved in future disruptions is promptly arrested, to set an example.

I also welcome that there are daily patrols where the crime intelligence unit is involved and that video footage of the protestors has been captured.

I have also been informed that there are regular hijackings taking place on this road and have submitted questions regarding this to MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe.

It is suspected that when these blockades occur, hijackers can eye out their potential targets as all the vehicles are forced to a standstill.

We cannot allow a situation of anarchy to develop on our roads. Lawlessness disrupts the economy and ultimately has an impact on jobs.