LIVE BLOG: National shutdown as it happens

EFF members mobilising people to join the national shutdown in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Oupa Mokoena /African News Agency (ANA)

EFF members mobilising people to join the national shutdown in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Oupa Mokoena /African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 20, 2023


The EFF has organised a national shutdown to protest what it terms the failure of the ANC government to provide a decent life for South Africans.

IOL will keep you updated on the national shutdown as it happens.

Sandton City heavily guarded as EFF shutdown continues

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said most areas in the north of Johannesburg had not experienced any disturbances on the roads as the EFF shutdown took place in other parts of Johannesburg.

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WATCH: EFF Gathering in Glenwood as part of National Shutdown Protest

Putco withdraws buses after several attacks and passengers flee

Bus company Putco has announced that it has temporarily suspended some of its buses this morning due to intimidation, amid the national shutdown unleashed by the Economic Freedom Fighters.

“Our staff buses were the first to encounter blocked roads and intimidation from demonstrators taking part in the national shutdown protest as they attempted to collect bus drivers aiming to report for duty in the early hours of Monday morning 20 March 2023,” Putco’s spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu said.

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WATCH: Police Minister Bheki Cele Updates Media on National Shutdown

‘It’s the soldiers and police blocking roads across South Africa this morning’, says EFF’s Veronica Mente

She said people who have opted to go to work, ignoring the call to protest, were doing so unhindered by the EFF.

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National Shutdown: The rights of people to work and travel must be protected, says Ramaphosa

Writing in his weekly “From the Desk of the President” newsletter, Ramaphosa said that the Constitution ensured the right to protest but that did not give anyone the right to “harass, intimidate or threaten anyone else”.

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WATCH: Carl Niehaus calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down

National shutdown: Cape Town reports incidents of protest, failed attempts of arson

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith said there have been some incidents reported.

Smith said two incidents of failed arson were reported on Sunday.

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National shutdown: police arrest 87 people, confiscate 24 300 tyres

As the national shutdown gatherings get under way across the country, Police Minister Bheki Cele said 87 people have been arrested so far.

Of the eighty-seven arrested, 41 were arrested in Gauteng, 29 in North West, 15 in Free State. There are also arrests in other provinces such as Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. Updates will be provided as and when information becomes available.

Read the full story here.

National shutdown: EFF calls on international community to monitor protests as Ramaphosa deploys soldiers

Parliament has revealed that the deployment of the SANDF will cost the taxpayer about R166 562 058.

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WATCH: Soweto Activist Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini's Home Attacked During national shutdown

Cape law enforcement agencies are on high alert for the EFF’s shutdown

Law enforcement agencies in the province are on high alert today as thousands of members affiliated to the EFF are expected to join the national shutdown calling for an end to load shedding and the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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OPINION: Shutdown: A day of reckoning for Cyril

Even before the spurious call to action by the radical minority opposition party EFF for a national shutdown today, takes place or not, its potential disruptive impact on the South African body politic and psyche was evident a few days before.

Read the full story here.

Township crime fighters and police ready for the national shutdown

Members of eThekwini Neighbourhood Watch, a community-based crime-fighting structure in Durban townships, and the police are on high alert in anticipation of any criminal elements that might crop up in today’s planned national shutdown called for by the EFF.

Read the full story here.

Government deploys thousands of soldiers for planned protest

Parliament Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo have confirmed that they received a letter from the head of state that thousands of soldiers have been deployed across the country before the shutdown.

Read the full story here.