Cape Town shutdown

Will shutdown riots break out in Cape Town on Friday? – Here’s what we know

Andile Sicetsha - 16.07.2021

The Western Cape government has set up a plan to deal with threats of a Cape Town shutdown expected to break out on Friday.

While the rest of the country reels in the horrific events of the past week, Cape Town is dealing with its own threat of a shutdown.

Chain message fuels fears of a Cape Town shutdown

It seems the ongoing taxi violence that’s rendered public transit inoperable in the eastern periphery is not the only worry Capetonians have to endure.

Chain messages spread on social media, particularly on WhatsApp, have warned of a second-coming of shutdown riots that mirror the anarchy witnessed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

An unidentified male, heard in this voice note that’s been forwarded ‘many’ times, exclaimed his manifesto of a revolt against foreign-owned businesses.

Which areas are high-risk?

In the information noted in the chain message, the unknown man can be heard listing the following townships as areas that will be attacked by rioters:

  • Khayelitsha
  • Langa
  • Gugulethu
  • Delft

The voice note also warns that shopping malls will be targeted as well. In a cautionary move, Cavendish Square in the southern suburbs and Vangate Mall are just some of the shopping centres that have temporarily closed off their doors to shoppers this week.

However, we were able to get confirmation from Cavendish that normal operations are expected to return on Friday.

At this time, it remains unclear if any shopping mall situated in the townships listed above will be open this weekend.

Cape Town shutdown: The City douses rumours

The Western Cape government has had a hard time dealing with spurts of outrage and fear after repeated reports of unrest linked to the shutdown surfaced in a number of areas this week.

Protests in Mfuleni, Mitchell’s Plein and Vrygrond were, according to the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), related to service delivery disgruntlements, not the looting that’s handicapped economic hubs in Gauteng and KZN.

Thus far, the provincial government has shrugged off chain messages warning of a Cape Town shutdown as ‘fake news’ and assured locals that a solid plan is in place to deal with any outbreak of violence.

“In the case of the WhatsApp circulating listing seven malls as targets, the threat has been assessed and it is not considered to be a major concern. The JOC believes that there is no major risk at this stage, and no need for malls to close. Should the situation change, this would be communicated immediately,” the City noted in a statement.

The provincial government has vowed to utilities its entire law enforcement complement of more than 8 500 active officials who will work in tandem with private security companies, police reservists and neighbourhood watch organisations to deal with any and all threats of violence.

Swisher Post News will follow all updates and provide more information as things develop on Friday.