Just minutes after government and traditional leaders signed an agreement to end a blockade of the troubled Vuwani township in Limpopo, uncertainty over its effectiveness set in.
Some residents took to social media declaring the area was still under lockdown as community leaders had not engaged them on the deal reached.
Just this week, the leaders who now seem to be at odds with their king and chiefs, vowed to stay away from the polls during next Wednesdays’s local government elections.
Traditional leaders representing the King of the VhaVenda people, Toni Ramabulan, also confirmed residents were at times not “confident” about about the process undertaken.
The parties involved in the dispute signed the document in Polokwane on Thursday, outlining that schooling would resume as soon as possible, while those eligible to vote would be allowed to do so.
A demarcation decision, among other outstanding issues, would be dealt with after the elections.
Vuwani residents who until recently fell under the Makhado municipality, torched over 20 schools in May, staging a prolonged battle against their area’s incorporation into Malamulele Municipality.
On Thursday political parties began putting up posters in the township as soon as the singing took place.
Traditional leader Chief Mbangiseni Masia said engagements with disgruntled communities would continue to ensure that everyone believed in the process.
He explained they saw no other alternative, but to engage in the process.
“Communities that we represent are at times not confident about the process we are involved in, it becomes our duty as traditional leaders to persuade them to see what they may not be seeing. But we understand their concerns because the road has been too long. and they’ve got all sorts of suspicions.”
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen said that while they still had a lot of work to do, the progress made was monumental.
“There are a number of legislative options currently under consideration, hence our commitment as government to continuing discussions until we arrive at the decision that is acceptable to all of us,” he said.