Port Elizabeth - A large police contingent was keeping watch in Sterkspruit after a week of protest action there, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.

Brigadier Marinda Mills said that although the Sterkspruit Civic Association (SCA) signalled their decision to suspend protest action, police would maintain a presence.

Sterkspruit residents, under the banner of the SCA, shut down the town for two weeks.

They demanded a stand-alone municipality separate from the Senqu municipality, which incorporates Lady Grey and Barkly East.

Other complaints related to lack of service delivery in Sterkspruit, and allegations of corruption and nepotism within the Senqu municipality.

SCA chairman Mcebisi Mgojo said the organisation decided to put the protest on hold after Co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi addressed residents at the Bensonville College Stadium on Wednesday.

The SCA would investigate the proper channels to make complaints and expected these to be deal with within three months.

“We are willing to help facilitate the process,” Mgojo said.

Earlier in the week, protesters reportedly blocked roads with rocks and burning tyres and demanded a “toll fee” from motorists who wanted to use the roads. - Sapa