Vuwani leaders in talks over demarcation dispute

2016-07-22 18:30
Limpopo villagers. (News24)

Dzanani - Despite talks to persuade Vuwani residents to accept their incorporation into a new municipality, they seem determined to resist.

"We presented a paper on Monday, but they turned it down and told us that they want nothing except a reversal of the decision," said a source who did not want to be named, but who was part of meetings to try and end the dispute.

"We try to tell them that they must vote and the rest of the decision will be reversed after the election. Still they refused."

Residents claimed the proposal lacked commitment on the government's part.

Government ministers, members of the Vuwani task team and VhaVenda King Mphephu Ramabulana have been in talks all week to try and end the protracted municipal demarcation dispute in Vuwani. A decision was expected to be made on Friday.

The Municipal Demarcation Board decided to incorporate residents living in the Makhado municipality into a new municipality in Malamulele, near the Kruger National Park.

Unsustainable union

If plans to establish the new municipality failed, it could affect the establishment of a district municipality.

In April, residents of Vuwani and surrounding areas shut down schools and businesses following their failed High Court bid to have the board's decision reversed. Dozens of schools were burnt down or vandalised.

Study camps had to be organised for matric pupils so they could catch up on their disrupted studies in a safe environment.

Community leader Nsovo Sambo said residents of Vuwani would not vote on August 3 if they were incorporated into the new municipality. They described the move as a marriage of two destitute partners - an unsustainable union.

Last week, the Malamulele task team proposed that the new municipality be named after former public service and administration minister Collins Chabane. He was killed in a car accident on the N1 near Polokwane on March 15 2015.

Limpopo Co-operative Governance MEC Makoma Makhurupetje said there was no truth to rumours that the new municipality would have its seat in Vuwani. His spokesperson Khathu Razwiedani said talks were still underway, but they were sure it would have its seat in Malamulele.

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