At last community members in Tshitale in Limpopo and residents of neighboring Nthabalala community, on Wednesday, suspended protests going on in the area since last week Wesnesday.
The aggrieved residents embarked on the protest requesting the government to construct a 45km road connecting Tshitale to Morebeng. Tshitale is between their area and Elim.
They had, on Monday, set alight a local primary school and other government buildings. They also set fire to two government vehicles and a post office, blocked the main road into the area and dug a ditch across it to stop police from entering the area.
In another incident, Tshirolwe villagers blocked a road north of Makhado that same day.
The protesters also rejected a proposal by the provincial department of public works and its road agency to have the main gravel road upgraded to tar by 2018, as negotiations between community leaders and Limpopo MEC for public works‚ roads and infrastructure Jerry Ndou failed to yield fruits.
Public order police were later deployed to the area on Monday according to police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafelo Mojapelo. No arrests were made but the police launched investigations into the cases of public violence and arson. Mojapelo said the burning of properties happened at night‚ making it difficult to catch the culprits.
The protesters finally agreed to pull back their sword back to their sheath after the government agreed to start constructing the road in April.
Department spokesperson Paena Galane said an environmental impact assessment to tar the 45km D3727 road between Mashamba and Soekmekaar had been completed in 2015 but was delayed because the province ran out of money in 2011.
From our gatherings, it is understood that some schools in the province could not start off in the first week due to the service delivery protests.