N2 Hell Run - Somerset West Residents Take Action

This morning a group of Somerset Residents met to discuss initiatives with representatives of the Western Cape Government. The delegates included the Minister of Safety, Dan Plato. The group who called the meeting were individuals who had formed various What's Up groups for N2 travelers. Before the meeting's official time, the individuals had formed an executive, armed with stickers "N2 Convoy Members." Their plan is to sell stickers and make N2 travelers register with personal details to obtain a sticker for around R35.

The Minister and his representatives heard the various ideas, and welcomed the fact that the community was trying to do something. The Minister advised around twenty individuals to organize themselves and to act within the frame work of government. He suggested that they send two representatives to a meeting which will be held on Monday, about safety measures on the N2.

Plato made it clear, that the attacks along the N2 are orchestrated by thugs who place objects in the road in order to cause accidents with the intention of robbing the victims of their belongings. Plato, also stated that SANRAL is responsible for keeping the N2 safe and maintaining safety barriers such as fencing and lighting on the freeway. He said that provisional traffic and SAPS are stretched for resources as there would need to be officers every 500 m along the N2.

During the meeting, community activist urged the importance of supporting the HCW/Vetus N2 Patrol. This HCW / Vetus N2 Patrol is a public / private partnership between Helderberg Crime Watch (a registered section 21 company) and Vetus Scola. Armed response vehicles and stand by riot control vehicles have been put in place and have been actively patrolling the N2 from Somerset West to Spine Road. Hugh Roe, the Chairperson of HCW reported that the N2 HCW/ Vetus Patrol Team, has appointed a Tactical Control Team Manager for the project. The patrol has already assisted distressed travelers on the N2 during the past few days.

Leppan stated that a protest convoy, is planned for Saturday 8th August from Somerset West to Baden Powell turnoff, providing the permit is issued. The convoy's sole purpose is to raise awareness for the N2 Patrole and to put public pressure on SANRAL to improve the safety of the N2.

Reporter: James Arthur Higgins

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