End in sight for Grabouw service delivery issues

Bongingkosi Madikizela said he's now positive there won't be any further violent demonstrations by locals.

Violent clashes broke out in the Overberg town this week during service delivery protests. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has met with some Grabouw residents to try to resolve their service delivery grievances.

Community leaders held a meeting with the Theewaterskloof Municipality and the MEC earlier today to demand adequate housing and better service delivery.

Madikizela said he's now positive there won't be any further violent demonstrations by locals.

"Most of the issues were genuine. I think the problem is a communication breakdown between them and the municipality. When I left, the mood was very positive. We just have to communicate the relevant issues to resolve it."

Violent clashes broke out in the Overberg town this week during service delivery protests.

Demonstrators blocked off parts of the N2 highway and Ou Kaapse Weg during the protests.

Learners were also unable to attend school as a result of the demonstrations.

On Wednesday, a municipal building was set alight.The blaze caused extensive damage to the building.

The GCA's Margaret le Roux said, "I expect the mayor not to be in a hurry and to have time to sit down with us. I am also hoping that we can get a solution today."

At the same time, the Western Cape Education Department is urging Grabouw parents to send their children back to school.

Scores of learners have been affected by the protests. The schools however reopened on Thursday, but learner attendance was low.

Department spokesperson, Jessica Shelver said the department would like to encourage parents to send their children to school as the situation seems to have abated.

"We encourage all parents to send their children to school. The department is currently busy working with school management of all the affected schools to ensure that examinations and assessments are rescheduled."

Over 1,000 Grabouw residents marched to the Theewaterskloof Municipal offices on Monday where they handed over a list of grievances to Mayor Chris Punt.

The community has highlighted a lack of housing as the biggest issue facing residents.