The protest in Matatiele has ended after a successful meeting between the protesting residents of the town and the MEC for Transport and Roads, Weziwe Tikana.
The protesters have had the town in lockdown since last week as they are demanding better roads.
MEC Tikana was shocked to hear some of the commitments she made when she previously visited the town were not followed through. She requested a reinstatement of the steering committee formed during her last meeting to engage with her directly.
It is an end to the lock down and a violent protest. The residents want clarity on road infrastructure issues.
The MEC committed to tackle the operational and technical challenges.
“Their challenges were operational challenges. There were challenges on the previous steering committee but now we have formed new one headed by the mayor and consist of community members they will communicate directly to me through the mayor the plant.”
The community has also committed to suspend their protest. The commitment by the government was welcomed, with reservation.
“We want to remain genuine. They have agreed they will start work on Monday,” says community leader Teboho Stemere.
The community also made it clear that they are tired of promises. The appointment of district road engineers to monitor the road construction progress was one of the main issues that surfaced.
The MEC has committed that interviews will be conducted this week and that an engineer will start on the 1 September. Tikana has added that the government will not give further commitment if the arson continues.