Durban – At least five factories were set alight, with one completely destroyed at Mandeni’s Isithebe Industrial Estate on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast this week.
The community was unhappy with mayor Siphelele Zulu and has demanded he steps down.
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala said since Monday, factories owned by the Ithala Development Finance Corporation had been torched by people disgruntled with the local municipality.
“We understand people have issues they are concerned about. However, those issues don’t necessarily have a direct bearing on what is taking place in the industrial estate. We, therefore, urge communities not to vent their anger on economic hubs like this,” Zikalala said.
He said the provincial government was also concerned about the burning of seven trucks along the crucial N3 corridor that links KZN and South Africa’s economic heartland of Gauteng, said Zikalala.
Police confirmed that 15 people have been arrested for malicious damage to property and for inciting public violence.