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Saldanha Bay, Vredenburg protests end with 17 arrested

A number of municipal buildings, including a community hall and a clinic, have been torched since protests flared up on Thursday.

Angry Vredenburg residents march to the town's municipal offices on 14 November 2018 in protest over a lack of housing and poor service delivery. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Seventeen people have been arrested following violent protests in Saldanha Bay overnight.

Mayhem broke out in the West Coast town this week.

Even though Saldanha Bay protesters handed over a list of demands to municipal bosses on Thursday, violent demonstrations continued on the same night.

Ten people were arrested on charges of public violence and another seven were apprehended for business robbery.

A number of municipal buildings, including a community hall and a clinic, have been torched since protests flared up on Thursday.

Residents are demanding, among other things, proper housing, better service delivery and jobs in the area.

At the same time, the Saldanha Bay Municipality has confirmed that protests in both Saldanha and Vredenburg have come to a halt and that all roads are open.

The municipality's Ethne Julius says: “All roads have been opened and the affected area is being patrolled by the police to ensure the safety of residents and properties. A memorandum was handed over to the municipality by the community leaders and the Saldanha Bay Municipality will provide feedback to them next week.”

Julius says the community is calling for affordable basic services, housing, more recreational facilities, and more jobs.

Police will continue patrolling in the affected areas during the course of this weekend.

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