South Africa | ANC, Harrismith community leaders to 'map a way forward' after week-long protests

Roads barricaded with burning tyres in Harrismith, Free State.

Roads barricaded with burning tyres in Harrismith, Free State.

PHOTO: Twitter/@masitengmakgala

The ANC is expected to have a follow-up meeting on Sunday with Harrismith representatives who led service delivery protest action in the Free State town earlier this week.

The protest action turned violent when residents went on a rampage, disrupting traffic flow on the N3 highway, torching a truck and destroying property.

The angry residents believe QwaQwa and Kestell are the only areas that receive good services from the municipality. They demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa visit their area and remove Harrismith from the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality.

More than 30 protesters, including minors, were arrested during the week-long unrest.

A meeting between the interim provincial leadership, head of the ANC presidency, and community representatives took place on Thursday, according to ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe.

READ | ANC treads carefully amid Harrismith protests as residents demand new municipality

"Concerned community members brought to the attention of the ANC delegation, amongst others, their concern on deteriorating levels of service delivery as well as the community's desire to be delinked from the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality," Mabe said in a statement.

He said the ANC delegation gave feedback to the presidency and the secretary-general's office and that a meeting was scheduled for Sunday to "map a way forward and a rollout plan".

According to Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, the area has been quiet since Friday.

"The police deployments are still in the area to monitor the situation," Makhele added.

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