18 November 2012

South Africa: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Ministry to Address Swellendam Community Grievances

press release

The Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs will work closely with the Western Cape Province to investigate allegations that Swellendal residents have raised with Minister Richard Baloyi in a community meeting this weekend.

Minister Baloyi and Western Cape MEC for Local Government, Anton Bredell, visited Swellendam this weekend to obtain first-hand reports from the community about problems that may have led to recent community protests.

The minister emphasised that government was willing to listen to challenges that were facing Swellendam and appealed to community to be patient and give government a chance to resolve them.

"We understand the community's frustration and anger, however, people must exercise their right to protest peacefully and refrain from violence and damaging property," said Minister Baloyi.

The residents of Swellendam in Western Cape embarked on fierce protests last week which turned into a rampage characterised by looting of local shops and damage to private property.

They have complained that corruption in the municipality and the removal of the acting municipal manager were the primary reasons for the violent protests during the week. Several hundred people came to hear community leaders voice their complaints to Minister Baloyi and MEC Bredell.

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