Police detained protesters after firing stun grenades during demonstrations in South Africa’s Cape Town on Tuesday (September 25).
Local media reported that the protest, organised by a group called the Western Cape Total Shutdown (WCTS), was a demonstration against poverty, unemployment, corruption, violence and crime in the city.
In a statement, the group said since the fall of apartheid in 1994 “nothing much has changed for our working class communities… enough is enough.”
Last week, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a multi-billion-dollar stimulus program, earmarking funds for job creation and infrastructure development as he seeks to make good on a pledge to revive the country’s ailing economy.
When he took over in February from Jacob Zuma, whose term of office was plagued by scandal, Ramaphosa staked his reputation on economic revival and he received a warm welcome from investors in part due to his strong ties to the business community.
But having stagnated for a decade, Africa’s most industrialized economy slipped further in the second quarter by entering recession for the first time since 2009, while the rand has weakened.
South Africa needs faster economic growth to reduce its 27 percent unemployment rate and alleviate poverty and inequality, which are stoking instability ahead of national elections next year.