Swellendam clean up underway

Municipal workers have begun cleaning up in Swellendam following overnight protests.

A police vehicle overturned during violent farm protests in Wolseley on 14 November 2012. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Swellendam Municipal staff removed the debris of burned tyres littered in some of the town's streets on Friday.

The situation appeared to be calm following violent overnight protests.

Officials said the unrest was not related to the farmworkers strike in the Western Cape.

Shops were looted and set alight by the protesters, with some shops that were spared from the violence remaining closed for business on Friday.

Several community members of Railton, which is said to be the epicentre of the protests, sat along the main road while municipal workers cleaned the road.

There were talks of more protest action.

On Thursday, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell said the trouble started after the Democratic Alliance (DA) won a court case on Monday against the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the African National Congress (ANC).

"On Monday evening, the ACDP and ANC councillors set up a public meeting and 10 minutes after that the unrest started."

At least 16 mining communities were affected by the strike action.

A 28-year-old farmworker was shot dead on Wednesday allegedly by police in Wolseley.

Workers are demanding better salaries and improved living conditions.