Issues left unresolved in Malamulele

2015-02-23 14:42

The municipal chaos in Malamulele is gaining momentum in many ways after the area was denied its own municipality by the Municipal Demarcation Board a few weeks ago.

Despite the fact that the seven-week strike has been suspended by the task team and other structures of the community such as traditional leaders without the consultation of the whole community, it is obvious that residents who were fully participating in the struggle for Malamulele to have its own municipality were left stranded and clueless by the decision because they were not well informed of the reasons behind the suspension.

The Malamulele task team is fooling its own people the same way as it was fooled by the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Pravin Gordhan, during the last meeting that led to the suspension of the most prominent and promising strike.

The kind of Malamulele strike didn’t deserve the privacy that took place during the last meeting, because the journey was not commenced by the task team alone, but with dedicated residents from various villages around Malamulele, who were given publicity by the most prominent media houses during the course of their struggle.

I’m not disputing the fact that the strike was supposed to be suspended, but there were certain procedures that needed crucial consideration before the approval of the suspension.

What is the use of cancelling the strike – because a school was burnt down in Xigalo outside Malamulele, and an innocent principal and a teacher were chased away in Khakhanwa even after the suspension of the strike? Schooling is going to be disrupted in other ways.

Residents made a good bid to force the government to grant Malamulele its own municipality. I fully support Chokito Baloyi of the Ximoko Party, who said: “The people who took decision to suspend the strike were the ANC and its alliance partners.”

No wonder President Jacob Zuma didn’t bother to say anything about the Malamulele strike during his state of the nation address in Parliament. What does this democracy mean for residents of Malamulele if it doesn’t bring them hope and opportunities of a better life?

I urged all residents of Malamulele not to be misled by a counterfeit statement that Gordhan had started the process to reconsider the application for Malamulele to get its own municipality. The chances of not receiving our own municipality are high at the moment.

I understand that many people have lost their income since the strike erupted at the beginning of the year. What is the use of generating income in an unfavourable environment such as a poorly resourced classroom or township in general?

There are many things that need proper attention before so-called income. The government must learn to deal with people’s grievances fairly and properly, unless its term of office will reach an unexpected end.

The fact that Nkatini High School in Xigalo village was burnt down after the suspension of the strike is a sign that many people around Malamulele opposed the suspension of the shutdown without proper and valid reasons that would lead them to greener pastures.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the commission for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities for giving Malamulele’s demand for its municipality the thumbs up. The deputy chairperson, Professor David Musoma, stated that the demand was not motivated by tribalism but by genuine concerns, after he and a team from the commission visited the area and held discussions with residents and the Malamulele demarcation task team a few days before the suspension of the strike.

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