Chaos as hawkers fight Operation Clean-Up
THE City of Tshwane metro police officers had their hands full yesterday trying to clean up the city's streets and locate hawkers who were protesting against the decision to remove them from the streets.
The hawkers sowed disarray in the usually clean CBD and disrupted traffic. They overturned dustbins and dragged branches and steel fences, that were erected by city officials to prevent them from selling their wares, into roads. In some places fires were started on pavements.
The hawkers operated in groups and frustrated the police by moving to another street as officers tried to clear one.
The protest started on Tuesday when hawkers occupied the vibrant Marabastad business district forcing every shop to close. They protested in front the Tshwane market where they usually buy their stock in the mornings. They blocked the main entrance forcing delivery vehicles to turn back. They then proceeded to the CBD where they littered the streets.
Yesterday most shops in the CBD were closed for business. The hawkers threatened to loot operating businesses and destroyed stock belonging to fellow hawkers who were not part of the protest.