The Limpopo Provincial Government believes that criminal elements are at play in the protests in Vuwani, Limpopo.
There have been protests in the area since last Sunday, after a High Court decision to dismiss the community's challenge to review a Municipal Demarcation Board decision to incorporate one municipality in the Vhembe District into Malamulele Municipality.
By Wednesday, 18 schools had been burnt in these protests.
After a meeting between an inter-ministerial task team and provincial government, #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu and Sizwe Dhlomo spoke to Limpopo Provincial Government Spokesperson Phuti Seloba about government's response to the protests.
Paul Berkowitz, Director of EDGIS at ED Platform, about the impact of the impact of changing municipal borders in local communities.
Listen to the interview below:
We don't believe this is a protest. We believe this is becoming organised crime— Phuti Seloba, Limpopo Provincial Government Spokesperson
It can't be tribal. As Limpopo, in 1994 we managed to amalgamate various homelands, and we've been quite stable. But now you see issues where people over-emphasise theoretical issues of which municipalities they belong to— Phuti Seloba, Limpopo Provincial Government Spokesperson
It seems criminal elements have hijacked the entire protest of the community to say that they want to be under Makhado (Municipality). Now you have activities that are leaderless, that no one wants to be a part of— Phuti Seloba, Limpopo Provincial Government Spokesperson
The trend we have seen is that there's been amalgamations of municipalities over the years. We end up with fewer municipalities— Paul Berkowitz, Director of EDGIS at ED Platform
I've not seen something like this before. We're not consolidating because of any supposed gains in efficiencies or a slightly bigger municipality. That makes this the demarcation exercise very unusual. Its not something I've seen before— Paul Berkowitz, Director of EDGIS at ED Platform
This article first appeared on 702 : #VuwaniProtests: an unusual municipal demarcation exercise - analyst