Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. Photo: Wesley Fester.

Johannesburg - Residents of the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality have asked Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa for help in resolving a protest in Mokgola village near Zeerust, North West.

Municipal spokeswoman Lehlohonolo Matsose said they were in talks with Molewa's office after residents refused to speak to the mayors of the local and district municipalities on Saturday.

“Both Phaladi Saku and Africa Thale went to meet with the community, but they didn't want to hear what they had to say.”

Saku is mayor of the district municipality and Thale mayor of the Ramotshere Moiloa local municipality.

Residents said they would only speak to Molewa. Matsose said residents seemingly had more concerns than just a water shortage.

“Amongst other things, there was an issue of the construction of roads in the area and the issue of traditional leadership which the municipality had no control over.”

She said the municipality would release a statement concerning the way forward on the matter.

Residents had blockaded roads around the village, about 20km from Zeerust, and part of the N4 leading to a nearby border post to Botswana.

Police said the protests began on Friday and had been peaceful.

“We have not made any arrests but police are present and are diverting traffic from the site, keeping a close eye on the situation,” Captain Pelonomi Makau said.

“What I know is that they have so far used rocks, tree trunks and water tanks to blockade the road,” Makau said.

He said there were no damages or injuries reported.

Earlier, a motorist told Sapa that two large JoJo water tanks were blocking the road.

She said police had told her the road had been blocked for the past three days. - Sapa