Traditional leaders and community members from Vuwani township have finally agreed to sheath their sword and give peace a chance after government engaged them in an extensive dialogue.
Representatives of traditional councils in the community made this landmark decision after they sat with an inter-ministerial team to sign an agreement.
The parties involved in the dispute signed the document in Polokwane on Thursday; stating that schooling would resume as soon as possible; while eligible voters would be allowed to vote.
Contained in the agreement are resolutions to end all forms of violence and intimidation during the local government elections.
The agreement also stipulates that government must continue to engage affected communities in peaceful and productive talks.
Violence erupted in Vuwani in May after the Municipal Demarcation Board decided to merge parts of Vuwani with Malamulele to form a new municipality.
The protest left no fewer than 20 schools torched; many others were vandalized too.
Meanwhile, Co-operative Governance Minister, Des van Rooyen, says he feels elated with the decision taken by the traditional leaders.
The Minister said incidents of violence that led the government to declare certain areas as hotspots are not restricted to Vuwani, but it is usually a norm when election time approaches.
Des van Rooyen said government through the Security Cluster has partnered with community sectors including faith-based organizations; traditional leaders; amongst others to find solutions to these challenges.
He added: “All stakeholders have chosen to allow schools to open and allow those who are eligible to vote to do so. Enough is enough. Life in Vuwani township should be normal again.”
The agreement was also welcomed by Venda King, Toni Mphephu Ramabulana.
Ramabulana, who spoke through his adviser, Jackson Mafunzwaini‚ said he hopes the agreement amongst other things would restore peace and stability in the troubled area.
Nevertheless, reliable sources said the process of redetermining Vuwani’s borders will resume 14 days after August 3 elections.