Agreement to move Matatiele signed

2017-04-28 06:00
Photo: siphelele nketoAIC president Mandla Galo.

Photo: siphelele nketoAIC president Mandla Galo.

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PRESIDENT of the African Independent Congress (AIC) Mandla Galo is happy about the ruling party’s decision to sign an agreement relocating Matatiele and its rural areas from the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal.

On Monday, senior members of the ANC and AIC agreed to develop a road map and project plan that will set out the consultative processes and legal steps that have to be followed to achieve the objective of incorporating Matatiele Local Municipality into Harry Gwala District Municipality in KZN.

In 2005, Matatiele was moved from KZN to the Eastern Cape and the AIC was formed by people who did not support the decision.

After last year’s local government elections, the ANC entered into a coalition with AIC to retain power in the Rustenburg Local Municipality in North West and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng.

Galo told Fever they entered the coalition in order for the ruling party to tackle the Matatiele matter on how to open an agricultural college in Matatiele and upgrade rural roads in the town.

He said the area needs a tertiary institution for young people.

“Roads connecting Lesotho and South Africa must be tarred,” he said.

Last year, Galo threatened to withdraw from the coalition after he complained about delaying tactics of the ruling party about tackling the Matatiele matter. A committee of five members from the ANC and AIC was formed in December last year to seek a way forward about the relocation of Matatiele to KZN.

According to the signed agreement, the ANC has given until November to complete legislative processes and failing to do so, the AIC will make ANC suffer by withdrawing from coalition, said Galo.

Mzamo Mini, chairperson of the Matatiele Business Chamber, said relocation will benefit Matatiele.

“Businesses are benefiting nothing from being under the Eastern Cape and development is lacking in Matatiele.”

ANC secretary in Harry Gwala region Sindi Msomi said they are ready to welcome Matatiele.

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