Zamdela: Board goes ahead with process despite Baloyi’s intervention

2013-01-23 17:45

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) is going ahead with its review of the Metsimaholo/Ngwathe municipal boundaries despite Cooperative Goverance Minister Richard Baloyi’s promise to suspend the process.

MDB boss Gabusile Masilela said the public should allow the board to continue its work as there will be an opportunity to engage with the board before the final decision on the matter is taken.

Masilela also appealed for calm, saying the board would consider all the views and representations submitted and made by the public on Friday, before it embarks on the next phase of the “redetermination process”.

Baloyi reportedly promised to suspend the process of determining whether the two municipalities should merge after violence engulfed Zamdela township.

However, Baloyi’s chief of staff, Mpho Lekgoro, said the minister had merely called for the suspension of the process to restore calm in the area.

“I suppose the minister and the board will find each other. The minister was not saying he will determine the boundaries,” Lekgoro said.

The MDB, an independent statutory body responsible for determining ward and municipal boundaries, is currently considering the proposal to amalgamate the two Free State local municipalities into one entity. It is one of over 200 cases the board is considering before the municipal and ward boundaries could be finalised ahead of next year’s general elections.

Disgruntled residents of Zamdela township went on the rampage because of the proposed merger of their municipality with Ngwathe, which includes Parys, resulting in the looting of local businesses and the death of two residents.

They claim that Ngwathe is badly run, and a merger would lower their living standards.

The ANC has said Baloyi’s decision to “suspend” the merger of the two municipalities will help local stakeholders deal meaningfully with the issue.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said it was regrettable that a “well intentioned initiative calculated to improve performance of local government has collapsed on the grounds of allegations of non-consultation with the affected communities”.

“The ANC (national executive committee members) will work with the structures of the ANC on the ground to ensure that calm is restored,” Mthembu said.

Said Masilela: “The community unrest in Metsimaholo is unfortunate and the board fully regrets recent developments in the area.”

She said committees would be appointed to hear cases such as the Metsimaholo/Ngwathe merger “to give members of the public the opportunity to air their views on this matter”.

Masilela said the board received the proposal for the merger on December 15 2011, and the rationale for it included the need to promote economic growth and the need to resolve the impasse of the community of Heilbron which has been demanding that its town be incorporated into Metsimaholo.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.