Farmers open barricaded Hankey road

Hankey farmers took it upon themselves to clear the main road leading into town after protesting construction workers barricaded it.

A group of about 200 workers at the Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance construction site downed tools last week amid a labour dispute with Lubbe Construction. They subsequently built a barrier with cement blocks across the main road leading into town from the direction of Port Elizabeth. The area was also littered with stones and pieces of scaffolding, and large water tanks were rolled into the road. Farmers said the strike action was affecting their businesses and they needed the road reopened to transport their produce, mainly citrus, to markets and exporters. Farmer Deon Ferreira said: “Lives are at risk and our income is being threatened by a protest that has nothing to do with us. “Their right to protest is clashing with our right to use the roads and conduct our business.”

Ferreira was among dozens of farmers from the Hankey region who brought vehicles, equipment and farm workers to clear the road.

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