Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell has condemned the torching of the Swellendam municipal offices and the looting of shops during a violent protest.

A group of disgruntled residents took to the streets on Wednesday.

It’s understood that they’re unhappy about the lack of service delivery and indigent support for households in the Railton suburb.

Police have arrested 60 people on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson”.

“Preliminary reports available suggest that a group of protesters gathered in Swellendam at about 03:00 on Wednesday. They blockaded several roads as well as the N2 highway with burning tyres and objects. Public Order Police with reinforcements from neighbouring police stations were deployed to the area in an effort to quell the situation. Police arrested 64 suspects on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson. Law Enforcement agencies will remain in the area until the situation is stabilised”.

Bredell says the action to torch buildings is unacceptable.

“The Western Cape Government respects and acknowledges people’s right to protest or to voice their dissatisfaction. But this can never happen through the destruction of property or unlawful behaviour, as was the case in Swellendam which saw the municipal offices being set on fire. When municipal infrastructure is damaged or destroyed, all residents are affected”.