Situation calm in Balfour

2010-02-11 13:54
Johannesburg - The situation in the Siyathemba township in Balfour was calm on Thursday morning after violent protests during the week, Mpumalanga police said.

Sergeant Sam Tshabalala said there were no serious incidents during the night.

"There was no damage to property and nobody was arrested or injured," he said.

"Police members are in the township and monitoring the situation."

He could not say whether the police expected the violent demonstrations to continue.

"We are waiting for any action," he said.

"We are always on standby."

Police arrested four men on Wednesday for public violence.

Protesters were angry at the Burnstone goldmine, located in the area, saying it was allegedly not keeping its promise to hire half its workforce from the local community. They wanted the mine's licence suspended until their concerns were met.

Burnstone's human capital vice president Dawie Mostert told SABC radio on Thursday morning the mine was a soft target for protesters to aim their anger at.

"We have been upgrading community centres, fixing roads, doing training and development," said Mostert.

"We've probably spent in excess of R15m in the last three years just in terms of training and upgrading in the area."

The township has seen violent protests this week including disruption of schooling and the burning of the community library.

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