Protestors allegedly set a shop alight in the Pietermaritzburg (PMB) CBD after chaos broke out on Tuesday night when angry residents blockaded the streets with burning debris.

The protests continued into Wednesday disrupting businesses and traffic in the ‘sleepy hollow’. The Pietermaritzburg protesters are allegedly angry about disputations to electricity.

Photographs and videos of the protest action in the Pietermaritzburg were shared on social media. Watch one of the videos here.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said:

“This morning at 6:30am, a group of about 300 community members from Jika Joe informal Settlement embarked in a protest action.”

“They blockaded Masukwana and Church Street with burning tyres. The road is still closed and motorists are advised to use alternate routes. A shop has since been set alight but the fire was put down by the fire department,” Mbele said.

According to The Witness the Pietermaritzburg fire department was not able to immediately approach the building because it was not safe.

“A store has been burnt but I don’t have the details because it is unsafe.  Our team is standing at a distance. We cannot approach without the police. As long as the police have not removed the crowd, we can’t go in,” the fire department controller told The Witness.                                  The Pietermaritzburg protest action started in East Street at around 8pm on Tuesday night and continued throughout Wednesday morning.

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Presh JM Reporter

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