#SandtonShutdown: Everything you need to know

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Sandton, Johannesburg, on September 13 2019 to protest against gender-based violence. They congregated outside the JSE, where they handed over a memorandum to its CEO Nicky Newton-King.

After recent gender-based violence (GBV) incidents, gender-rights activist groups have taken a stand and gathered outside the JSE, under the banner #SandtonShutdown.

The groups, including Rise Up Against Gender-Based Violence and Sonke Gender Justice, gathered in Sandton from as early as 3am on Friday.

Here is what you need to know:

Aim of the protest

The protest comes a day after the national crime stats indicated that violent crimes and murder had significantly increased. 

More than 10 000 people are expected to participate in the march, that will see the protesters hand over a memorandum at the JSE.

According to a statement by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the aim of the protest is to shut down normal business operations and disrupt economic activity to highlight issues of GBV.

“Attacks against women and children are worsening in SA. The murder rate has gone up, including the rate of sexual offences against children.

“It is unsurprising, therefore, that the war against women has intensified. On average, one woman is killed every three hours in SA, and in most cases the perpetrator is a man who is known to the victim.”

ANC Women's League 

ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini, who is at the protest, said on Power FM that the JSE must contribute towards the fight against gender-based violence.

“JSE must contribute 2% towards the budget of women and towards the budget of fighting violence against women and children.”

Road closures

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) warned motorists to avoid Sandton for most of the day.

JMPD chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar said demonstrators are expected to march to the CBD.

Roads to avoid include:

  • Rivonia Road will be blocked between 5th Street and Grayston Drive
  • Maude Street will be blocked from Gwen Lane
  • West Street will also be affected because protesters intend handing over a memorandum to the JSE
  • Fredman Drive and Rivonia Road
  • Gwen Lane and Fredman Drive
  • West Street and Maude Street.

Minnaar also warned that protesters will be dropped off at Mushroom Park, with buses parking at George Leah Park.

He added that authorities will be visible and ensure traffic is directed effectively to prevent congestion on major routes into Sandton and around it.

Trending on social media

The protest saw Sandton making the top trending list on Twitter, as social media users took to the platform to share what is happening.

Here is a snapshot of the posts:

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