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Police deployed to Saldanha Bay following protests

Several buildings, including the Diazville Community Hall, its office and a private residence, were torched during violent demonstrations on Thursday morning.

Police are on the scene. Officials say protesters are also burning tyres in the Middelpos area. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A heavy police presence is deployed at Saldanha Bay along the West Coast.

Several buildings, including the Diazville Community Hall, its office and a private residence, were torched during violent demonstrations on Thursday morning.

The area's community health clinic was also torched.

Police say a group of about 5,000 people took to the streets in protest, burning tyres and pelting stones at officers.

An office at the Tabakbaai Holiday Resort was also set alight.

The Public Order Policing officers, as well as law enforcement officials, are on full alert to quell tensions.

A resident describes scenes that unfolded as police chased demonstrators through the streets.

“The police chased the riot up the hill, back from where they were coming from, and started shooting rubber bullets and tear gas.”

The motive for Thursday's protest is not yet known to authorities.

Calm has been restored to nearby Vredenburg after 38 arrested demonstrators were released on Wednesday.

Mayor Marius Koen has outlined plans to address housing, sanitation, and other service delivery issues.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)