Matatiele residents march again to join KZN

2012-09-07 00:00

MATATIELE residents are to stage a protest march today as part of their six-year fight against the incorporation of the town into the Eastern Cape.

Three years after having their hopes raised that the situation could be reversed, they are still waiting.

Matatiele was incorporated in the Eastern Cape in 2006, and residents under the banner of the Matatiele/Maluti Mass Action Organisation (MMAO) fought the inclusion all the way to the Constitutional Court.

The court found that the government had not consulted the residents sufficiently.

The minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) polled residents in October 2009 about whether they wanted the town to be part of the Eastern Cape or to revert to KZN. The results have not been made known.

Mandla Galo, convenor of the MMAO, said the organisation was to receive the results of the ballot shortly after the 2011 local government election.

The speaker in Parliament, Max Sisulu, has referred their demand to the Cogta portfolio Committee.

Galo said the organisation was still waiting to hear from the committee.

Fed up with waiting, MMAO has complained to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, asking her to investigate the reasons for the lengthy delay in the announcement of their votes.

Galo said they would be handing a memorandum to a representative from Madonsela’s office during the protest march, asking her to speed up the investigation into the demarcation debacle.

He said the march would also protest against the lack of service delivery in the town.

He said members believed that the Eastern Cape government was neglecting the town. A memorandum would also be presented to the Cogta MEC, Mike Qhoboshiyana.

The protest march has been organised jointly by MMAO and the African Independent Congress, a political party.

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