Matatiele people want KZN

2018-06-08 06:00

OVER 1 000 people led by the Matatiele-Maluti Mass Action Organising Committee attended a march in support of the relocation of Matatiele town and surrounding rural areas to KwaZulu-Natal from the Eastern Cape.

They delivered a memorandum of grievances to Thabane Zulu, the director general of the Department of Energy, in front of the Matatiele Town Hall last Friday.

Additional police and traffic officers were deployed to monitor the march as many people were carrying placards and wearing T-shirts branded: “We want to go to KZN”.

Reading the memorandum, the organising committee chairperson Fundiswa Nyamakazi said all 26 wards, including Matatiele Local Municipality, must be relocated to KZN before next year’s general elections. “KZN has been the popular choice of the people of Matatiele since 2005,” said Nyamakazi.

In 2005, Matatiele was relocated from KZN to the Eastern Cape Province with four wards and now it has 26 wards.

Nyamakazi said when the 2005 decision of moving Matatiele to the Eastern Cape was taken, the people were not consulted. “In 2009, public consultations were conducted by the government about this matter and many people voted for KZN and the results were withheld,” Nyamakazi added.

Members of the KZN Legislature and Eastern Cape held public hearings in separate venues in February and people express their views on the matter. Nyamakazi urged the government to rule in favour of the people as many supported KZN at the public hearings. “The government must act decisively and let the people of Matatiele be included in the Harry Gwala District Municipality in KZN. People will not rest until Matatiele is part of KZN,” said Nyamakazi.

Zulu signed the memorandum and said he will be delivering it to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize.

“I want to thank the people of Matatiele for being peaceful at the march. The president of the country is a good listener and he will be responding. Hearings have been conducted successfully and this matter is now in Parliament for a decision,” said Zulu to the marchers.

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