Matatiele demarcation in the limelight

2018-05-18 06:00

MEMBERS of Matatiele and Maluti Mass Action Organising Committee said that government must speed up the relocation process of Matatiele Local Municipality and its 26 wards from Eastern Cape Province back to KwaZulu-Natal before next year’s general elections.

On Monday, members of the committee informed journalists at a media briefing which was held in Matatiele on May 18, that they will be marching in town for government’s attention to relocate Matatiele to KZN.

The organiser of Matatiele and Maluti Mass Action Organising Committee, Lucky Malusi, said Matatiele local municipality has turned down their proposed march which was planned for April 27.

Malusi said that there was no genuine reason stated by the municipality to deny the march.

“It seems as if the municipality is not supporting the move of Matatiele from Eastern Cape to KZN. People do not want to be led by Eastern Cape government,” said Malusi.

When Matatiele was moved from KZN to Eastern Cape province in 2005 it had only four wards and now it has 26 wards.

According to Malusi, the 2005 decision of moving their town to Eastern Cape province was done by government to serve political interests and not the people of Matatiele.

“When Matatiele was under KZN government, we had better roads, hospitals and the town was very clean. The people of Matatiele were not consulted when the 2005 decision was made and are not happy to be led by Eastern Cape government,” said Fundiswa Nyamakazi, the chairperson of the organising committee.

Nyamakazi said that people of Matatiele were forced to travel almost nine hours to Bisho, which is the capital town of the Eastern Cape, when submitting documents and this was unfair. If they were to travel to Pietermaritzburg — the capital town of KZN, it would take only three hours.

Nyamakazi said that in 2009 the people of Matatiele voted in numbers against the 2005 decision and results were not made public by government.

“In February, the voice of the Matatiele people was not heard during public hearings organised by Government,” said Nyamakazi.

In February, members of the KZN Legislature and Eastern Cape Legislature heard the views of people about this matter during separate public hearings. Eastern Cape Legislature held their hearings at the Maluti Civic Centre and Grenaker Hall and KZN Legislature hearings were held at the Bhongweni Youth Centre in Kokstad.

Matatiele Local Municipality speaker, Nomasomi Mshuqwana said that the march planned for April 27, was refused because SAPS were not available due to the public holiday.

“We can not grant a march without SAPS and traffic police availability for security reasons,” said Mshuqwana.

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