Rustenburg - Disgruntled youth in Ramokokastad near Mogwase in the North West, who were demanding jobs, burnt down a tribal office on Thursday.
“Tree branches were put in the office and [they] set it alight. The situation is tense,” said Charles Makinita, chairperson of a committee of unemployed people in the area.
He said youth from Morogong, Bojating, Phalane and Phadi took to the streets on Wednesday as they demanded to be employed at mines operating in their areas.
The group vandalised the office and locked it, and demanded that North West premier Supra Mahumapelo be summoned to Ramokokastad to listen to their concerns.
“The police fired rubber bullets and some of us were arrested,” said Makinita.
The Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) in the North West said it was concerned with the high increase in protests that were taking place in the province.
“Whilst all citizens have a right to air their views on various issues, Cosatu North West is worried about the use of violent protests to address genuine community issues,” said provincial secretary Solly Phetoe.
“Cosatu North West is perturbed by damages to public properties such as schools, libraries and halls which must be fully utilised by children for extra mural activities in communities.”
He added that there was a trend developing whereby criminal activities were being disguised as service delivery protests.
Phetoe said Cosatu supported the community’s demands for genuine service delivery. He said these concerns must be attended to by both government and minerals sector in areas where communities were not benefiting from mining companies’ operations.