More violence in Sasolburg

Sasolburg residents are burning tyres and barricading roads.

The aftermath of violent protests in Sasolburg on 21 January 2013. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

ZAMDELA - Protesting Sasolburg residents on Tuesday continued burning tyres and barricading roads.

They have threatened to destroy property and loot shops if government does not reconsider its plans to move the area into another municipality.

Locals expect the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Richard Baloyi, to address a mass meeting later today.

About 3,000 residents from various informal settlements began protesting violently on Sunday.

They continued on Monday by destroying government buildings and looting tuck shops, before they went into the town to loot supermarkets.

Two officers were injured and about 160 people were arrested for public violence.

They are protesting against the proposed merger with the Metsimaholo and Ngwathe municipalities, saying the latter is a poor municipality whose development is delayed when compared to Sasolburg and its surrounding areas.

Residents from the Zamdela informal settlement said there would be more chaos if government continued with its plans.

One protester said Free State premier Ace Magashule was to blame for the violent protests.

He believes Magashule will use Sasolburg funds to develop Parys.

"We want him here, unless he is here, we'll continue protesting."

While resident Simon Motsamai said poor communication between government and communities had led to the protests.

"There wasn't any proper consultation with the community, which is what caused the chaos."

Locals said although looting would affect Sasolburg in months to come, government had left them no choice.

The merger of the Metsimaholo and Ngwathe municipalities are among several proposals announced by the Municipal Demarcation Board last year.