News / South Africa

Steven Tau
1 minute read
7 Feb 2017
5:46 am

Schools, govt offices shut down as Vuwani demarcation protest flares up

Steven Tau

Residents accused the government of not taking their demands to be returned to the Makhado municipality seriously.

Vuwani protests from August 2016. Photo: Supplied

Protests in Vuwani, just outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, flared up again on Monday.

The provincial government closed a local municipality’s offices until further notice. Schools and businesses also closed.

The problem goes back to 2016, when the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) decided to incorporate parts of Vuwani into a new municipality with Malamulele.

The new municipality goes by the name LIM 345.

The community wants to remain under the Makhado municipality, where they were before the disputes.

Residents said on Monday government was not taking their demands regarding demarcation seriously.

They are demanding the MDB reverses the decision to merge their area with other surrounding villages, including Malamulele, to form a new municipality.

Speaking to The Citizen on Monday, community spokesperson Arnold Mulaudzi said: “We don’t want to be serviced by Malamulele.

“We are happy that the [municipal] offices were closed down because all the officials who were working there are from Malamulele.

“All we want is our Makhado municipality,” Mulaudzi said.

He said the “shutdown of services” which formed part of Monday’s protest has since been suspended.

“We will be meeting with government people in the next two weeks to discuss criteria for how and who should be servicing Vuwani while the demarcation issue is being sorted out,” Mulaudzi added.

In Vuwani, about 30 schools were torched or damaged last year ahead of the local government elections.

Children there came close to missing their final exams after protests prevented them going to school for about four months.

Monday’s march was peaceful.

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