Johannesburg - North West premier Thandi Modise and Water Minister Edna Molewa will on Tuesday afternoon visit the families of the two protesters killed by police in Brits, Modise's office said.

“Premier Modise had earlier appealed for calm and expressed condolences to the families that lost their loved ones and also wished those injured a speedy recovery,” spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said in a statement.

“Modise had also appealed to those with information surrounding the clash between the protesters and the police and the shooting to assist the Independent Police Investigative Directorate in their investigation.”

Residents of Mothutlung, in Brits, started protesting on Sunday afternoon about a water shortage.

The police were called to monitor them after they barricaded a road with burning tyres.

There was an altercation between protesters and the police, during which two protesters were shot dead on Monday.

Modise said South Africa's hard-won democracy guaranteed people the right to peaceful protest.

“While we sympathise with the need for our communities to voice their frustrations and dissatisfaction with service delivery, we wish to appeal that such protests be in accordance with the Public Gatherings Act,” the premier said.

This was to avoid unnecessary confrontations and loss of lives.

Sapa