South African authorities say buildings at 17 schools in a provincial area were set on fire during several days of violence by residents who oppose an administration plan for their area.

South African media reported that Vuwani town in Limpopo province was relatively calm Thursday after the unrest, in which protesters also blocked roads, burned vehicles and fought riot police.

The violence started Sunday after residents failed in a legal bid to stop their area from being shifted from the authority of one municipality to another.

A South African news outlet, eNCA, says some students are concerned that the new demarcation could hurt their ability to secure university grants.