Vuwani shutdown will continue until govt delivers on promise - community leader

2017-09-05 17:07
A Nyala police vehicle patrols Vuwani a day after a shutdown was launched. (Chester Makana, News24)

A Nyala police vehicle patrols Vuwani a day after a shutdown was launched. (Chester Makana, News24)

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Vuwani - The troubled Limpopo town of Vuwani is tense once again, with police stepping up security following a shutdown in the area.

Schools and businesses remained closed on Tuesday as police vehicles patrolled the streets of the deserted town.

Residents are protesting against being incorporated into a new municipality - Lim345.

Villagers have been protesting since 2015, when the government’s Municipal Demarcation Board incorporated their area under Lim345.

Government is set to meet with the stakeholders in Thohoyandou to resolve the protracted demarcation protest.

Villagers objected to the decision and claimed that government had ambushed them when it removed them from the Makhado local municipality.

The pro-Makhado Task Team's acting spokesperson, Alex Ramashau, said the shutdown would be indefinite, until government delivered on a decision by President Jacob Zuma’s on May 7.

According to that decision, the Vhembe district municipality would provide services to the people of Vuwani while a solution on the demarcation issue was being sorted out, the Presidency said at the time.

The Presidency said the decision was taken at a meeting between Zuma, King Toni Ramabulana of the Vha-Venda, community representatives, and the pro-Makhado group.

But Ramashau and residents said nothing has changed since Zuma's decision, and residents were tired of unfulfilled promises. 

On Monday, provincial government spokesperson Phuti Seloba said government remained committed to finding a solution for Vuwani residents.

READ: 'Let the schools burn' - Vuwani resident

In 2016, residents took to the streets for more than three months, protesting against their reincorporation into Lim345, a municipality east of the township in Malamulele.

More than 24 schools were torched during the violent protests.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests  |  crime

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