WATCH: Thembeni residents block N2 link road demanding jobs

Residents protesting in the township on Wednesday.

Earlier this afternoon disgruntled locals blocked off the Thembeni link road near the Mvoti Toll plaza along the N2, before attempting to move over to the highway itself.

Residents of Thembeni took to the streets this afternoon, blocking them with burning tires and reportedly stoning cars on the south and northbound lanes near the Umvoti Toll Plaza and Umvoti River, demanding jobs in the township.

Police have since cleared the roads.

According to Umhlali SAPS spokesperson captain Vinny Pillay, the protesters were unhappy that construction work on the N2 was being done by workers from outside KwaDukuza.

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“After blocking off the Thembeni road, the protesters attempted to move over to the N2 where they set several tires alight before public order police chased them away and cleared the road.”

According to Thembeni councillor Innocent Nxumalo, residents are also demanding that 400 people be employed at a local water sanitation project.

“Unfortunately the construction company cannot employ so many people,” said Nxumalo, who confirmed that Ilembe District mayor, Sduduzo Gumede, had met with the residents on Friday.

“He explained the employment issue and requested that they must choose a group of five people to represent them, so that all their concerns could be addressed.

“I don’t know what happened now. I thought they had been addressed.”

“After trying to block the highway they decided to go to the actual construction site on the N2.”

Captain Pillay said police would remain in the area to ensure the safety of drivers throughout the night.

KwaDukuza police spokesperson, constable Sibusiso Khuzwayo the protest has continued inside the township,” said Khuzwayo.

Construction on the N2 north of Salt Rock has been ongoing for several years, being repeatedly stalled by issues with the contractor’s cash flow and alleged poor quality materials.

The Courier was not able to obtain comment from SANRAL or the Ilembe municipality at the time of going to press.

VIDEO: Protesters started burning tires on the N2 before public order police cleared them out.

(Video: supplied)

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Sboniso Dlamini and Allan Troskie

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