Peace restored in Vuwani after Ramaphosa visit

News24 Correspondent

Polokwane - Peace has been restored to Vuwani in Limpopo, although roads were still littered with rocks used by protesters to blockade them, police said on Monday.

Protests were suspended on Sunday after Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa intervened.

The township near Thohoyandou had been a no-go area after residents took to the streets to protest against the Municipal Demarcation Board's decision to merge the municipality with another one in Limpopo’s Vhembe district.

The protesters said they wanted to remain part of the Makhado municipality.

The protest resulted in schools and shops being closed, as authorities and local businesspeople feared for their lives.

On Sunday, residents suspended the protest after they met with Ramaphosa.

During the meeting, they told Ramaphosa their grievances and emphasised that the merging of Vuwani and Malamulele was ill-conceived and would not automatically speed up service delivery.

"Everything has returned to normal. Deputy President Ramaphosa's intervention worked. Shops and schools have reopened," said police spokesperson Warrant Officer Elaijah Malatji.

Malatji appealed to motorists to be careful, saying there was still some rubble and big stones on the road.

He said the Makhado municipality had been asked to clear the roads.

The two-week protest resulted in Grade 12 pupils missing trial exams as schooling came to a standstill. It also forced commuters to seek refuge near their workplaces as minibus taxis and buses were not moving in and out of township.