WATCH | Calm follows chaos in Kleinmond - for now

14 September 2017 - 16:30 By Petru Saal

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has had to intervene in Kleinmond where protests reached dangerous levels on Wednesday.

At the heart of the unhappiness is a tender to clean the streets of the town‚ housing and the construction of a graveyard.

According to police spokesman FC van Wyk protesters clashed with police in the streets and a member of the community fired live rounds into the air. A municipal vehicle was set alight and a journalist was assaulted.

On Thursday various shops remained closed and Kleinmond resembled a ghost town.

Plato had joined community leaders and Overberg municipality officials at a meeting.

On the agenda was the accessibility to the harbour for small-scale fishermen.

Mayor Rudolf Smith said the sweeping tender had not been withdrawn. Residents are upset that it was awarded to someone from Hermanus.

"The tender process won't be done over just now. The community will write a letter to Ivan Meyer [provincial minister of finance] requesting him to review the awarding of the sweeping tender" Smith said.

One resident said: "People are dying on a daily basis why can't another graveyard be constructed for us. There is no space to bury the people".

The leaders said that the community is also angered by the racist remarks that have been posted by the "white people" on social media.

Church leader Braam Hanekom said that he would speak to residents who had made these remarks. "We want to chase every racist away from this town‚" Hanekom said.

Plato described the meeting with the leaders as fruitful but said he was concerned over the violence during the protests.

"I just hope from a security point of view that the violence will stop [during protest]. I am appealing to everyone involved that we engage in talks instead" Plato said.

TimesLIVE journalists had been warned by officials not to approach members of the community because the situation remains volatile.


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