Sixteen people have been arrested for public violence after taking part in a protest in Sundumbili in KwaZulu-Natal, police said.
Protesters went on the rampage and burnt a mobile office belonging to the provincial department of social development.
Brigadier Phindile Radebe said on Friday the 16 people arrested were not charged with gutting the office.
"They have been arrested for taking part in the violent protest and charged with public violence."
She said the police were pursuing those believed to be responsible for burning the office.
"It's believed that it was service delivery protests. One park home office of the department of social development was burnt down."
She said when the police arrived at the scene the protesters had already dispersed.
Cooperative governance MEC Nomusa Dube called on the police to act swiftly to avert any acts of violence that threatened to disrupt government work.
"Ironically, the incident happened just when we were deploying a high-calibre team of departmental officials to investigate the source of dissatisfaction expressed by the concerned group," she said.
She said the team had met the residents last Monday and it was in the process of resolving the dispute.
She said people had a right to express their displeasure over certain issues but warned that violence would not be tolerated because it was a crime. - Sapa