Solution to the Vuwani issue should be inclusive - Zuma

2017-05-07 17:40
President Jacob Zuma. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

President Jacob Zuma. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Vuwani - The Presidency believes the community meeting in Vuwani, Limpopo was not representative of the whole community affected by the establishment of the new municipality.

After assessing the situation on Sunday, a conclusion was reached that the community was mostly composed by those who oppose the new municipality, the Presidency said in a statement.

This was despite that residents had been waiting for President Jacob Zuma to address them since 10:00. They were told that he would not be addressing them by 15:00.

"President Zuma wishes to meet everybody and benefit from the diversity of opinions. He believes that the solution to the Vuwani issue should be inclusive," the Presidency said.

In the meantime, the Vhembe district municipality would provide services to the people of Vuwani while a solution on the demarcation issue is being sorted, the Presidency said.

LIVE: Zuma did not address Vuwani meeting as it was not 'representative' - Presidency

New mandate

The Presidency said the decision was taken at a meeting between President Jacob Zuma, King Toni Ramabulana of Vha-Venda, community representatives and pro-Makhado group on Sunday.

It was further decided that relevant national and provincial government departments should provide support to the district municipality to carry out this new mandate, said the Presidency in a statement.

The meeting emphasised that the decision does not mean that the new municipality - Lim 345 - is being disestablished.  

Residents in the area have been up in arms after the Municipal Demarcation Board moved Vuwani and surrounding areas into Lim 345.

Vuwani residents have been disgruntled since April 2016 after villagers lost a court bid to remain under the Makhado municipality.

More than 20 schools were burnt and schooling disrupted for months during violent protests in 2016.

Zuma's visit to the troubled Vuwani followed a meeting he had with Ramabulana last week. Ramabulana had proposed that the Vhembe district municipality provide services to Vuwani residents.

Zuma, Ramabulana and other relevant stakeholders called upon residents of Vuwani to work together to bring about normality in the community.

Booing

Learners and educators in particular were urged to go back to school, said the statement.

According to the statement, Zuma will go back to the district to address all community members - those who are against and for the newly established municipality.

Des Van Rooyen was booed when he tried to address residents on behalf of Zuma.

Van Rooyen became unpopular when the decision to incorporate Vuwani under the new municipality was made.

Zuma allegedly withdrew from the Vuwani delegation to address the impatient crowd after he was advised to do so over fears for his safety.

When asked why Zuma did not address the community after the meeting, his spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga could not give a specific reason but only said that they've issued a statement on the matter.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  polokwane  |  politics

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