Police in Botlokwa, outside Polokwane, are investigating an incident where parts of the Motumo Trading Post were burnt to ashes.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said security guards on site had noticed a fire had broken out at seven thatch-roofed houses on site and had notified the police and firefighters.
Ngoepe said emergency services had reacted swiftly, but by the time they arrived, the houses as well as a nearby conference facility had been engulfed in flames.
“The initial investigations revealed that seven thatch-roofed houses burnt to ashes with everything inside, with the estimated damage caused of over R100 000,” he said.
The Motumo Trading Post was first initiated by the Capricorn District Municipality in 2003, and subsequently developed in two phases between 2006 and 2009.
However, the project has not been in operation since about 2012 and was currently in a dilapidated state, according to a report submitted by Urban-Econ development economists last year.
Urban-Econ had drafted a feasibility report to rehabilitate the Motumo Trading Post.
Ngoepe said the cause of the fire was still unknown, but said forensic investigations were underway.
He said anyone with information about this incident could contact Lieutenant Colonel Matome Makhura at 082 565 8611, the crime stop number 08600 10111, the crime line SMS 32211 or their nearest police station.