A woman walks on the outskirts of Vuwani as police vehicles are seen patrolling the area. (AFP)
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has appealed to the community of Vuwani to vote in the local government elections on Wednesday.
Zuma and King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana both agreed to ensure lasting peace and stability in Vuwani, the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Presidency said Zuma had formalised a team of ministers as an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on May 13, after Vuwani residents burnt down and vandalised dozens of schools in protests against a Municipal Demarcation Board decision earlier this year.
The destruction started on April 29, when the Masia Traditional Council lost a court application to set aside the Municipal Demarcation Board's decision to merge the Vuwani municipality with parts of the Malamulele municipality in the Vhembe district.
Nearly 53 000 pupils were affected by the protests and shutdown.
"We welcome the agreement that government signed with the stakeholders representing communities in the Vuwani of the Vhembe district on July 29.
"We are confident that this agreement will go a long way in normalising the situation in the entire district and afford communities an opportunity to have access to all services that the violence in the area deprived them," it read.
The Presidency said the signing of the agreement indicated their commitment to continue working together to resolve any issues.
Zuma said the agreement was based on trust among all the stakeholders and the commitment to engage further beyond the elections.
"As government, we are confident that we will have peaceful local government elections, even in Vuwani, Vhembe district," Zuma said.
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