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JHB residents warned: ‘If they burn down buildings, they won't get new ones’

The Gauteng premier issued the warning in the wake of violent demonstrations in Vanderbijpark & Limpopo.

FILE: Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has reportedly warned Johannesburg residents that that if they burn down buildings, they will not get new ones.

The Citizen is reporting that the Premier told Finetown community members that if government fixes a road or a clinic, residents must protect them.

Makhura has issued the warning in the wake of violent demonstrations in Vanderbijpark and Limpopo.

His spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane says, "In a maturing democracy like ours, there's no need to burn amenities in order to express your dissatisfaction about the pace of service delivery."

More than 20 schools have been torched in the Vuwani area, bringing learning to a standstill.

VUWANI

At the same time, Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen yesterday said Vuwani residents have committed to peace and rebuilding of the area as thousands of pupils prepare for school on Monday.

Several high profile meetings have been taking place in the area to ensure the situation returns to normal as soon as possible.

Vuwani was declared a disaster area this week following violent protests.

Van Rooyen said they have been interacting with the people of Vuwani and surrounding areas regarding a way forward.

"We'll even go to those villages where schools are not operating, we are working with all sector leadership [and] the community, including traditional leaders."

WATCH: The Vaal University of Technology was torched overnight.

He said while community members have expressed their discontent with the demarcation of their municipality, they are committed to working with government to ensure children return to school.

"They also gave a commitment that they are committed to peace."

The minister said while the extent of the damage is not yet known, a technical task team has been appointed and will make its findings soon.

VAAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Meanwhile, Vanderbijlpark police have defended their use of rubber bullets and teargas this afternoon, saying it was necessary to protect property at the Vaal University of Technology.

An admin office was set alight following several incidents of theft on the campus earlier this week.

Students are protesting against Mafoko Security, accusing the private company of colluding with criminals, and not ensuring safety on campus.

The police's Sam Manala said, "Already property has been damaged, so we were trying to quell the violence that was happening. Crime was committed in front of the police and that is what [they] were trying to quell."

Students claim the security company is assisting criminals gain access to the campus to steal their property.

Management at VUT say they have always been available to engage with students but have continuously been met with hostility.

Acting deputy Vice Chancellor Segopane Seroka said management's response to Tuesday's memorandum by students was torn up and rejected.

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