ANC welcomes halt to Sasolburg merger

2013-01-23 17:57
Sasolburg protesters (Lucky Maibi, Volksblad)

Sasolburg protesters (Lucky Maibi, Volksblad)

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Johannesburg - The ANC has welcomed Co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi's decision to halt the merger of Sasolburg with the Ngwathe local municipality.

"It is regrettable that a well-intentioned initiative, calculated to improve performance of local government, has collapsed on the grounds of allegations of poor or non-consultation with the affected communities," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The ANC NEC [national executive committee] members will work with the structures of the ANC on the ground to ensure that calm is restored."

Residents started protesting on Sunday in opposition to the proposed merger, in 2016, of the Matsimaholo municipality in Sasolburg with the Ngwathe municipality, under which Parys falls.

Two people were killed and nine were injured on Tuesday. A total of 259 people have been arrested since the start of the protest.

‘Reject violence’

The African National Congress sent its condolences to the families of those who were killed.

"We call on the people of all townships involved in the protest to give consultation a chance and reject violence," Mthembu said.

The Police and Prisons Civil Right Union (Popcru) called for an end to violent attacks on police in Zamdela and Deneysville.

"These acts committed, allegedly by community members, have the potential of damaging relations between the police as service providers and the very community they are expected to serve," Popcru said in a statement.

"While we respect the community's right to register their complaints through protest, we condemn the criminality that has overtaken the action."

Govt ‘behaving like the apartheid regime’

The Inkatha Freedom Party said the government was behaving like the apartheid regime.

"It is very unfortunate that the ANC government has mastered the behaviour patterns of the apartheid government, in that they only react to people's grievances when there is pressure emanating from violence and chaos," IFP deputy national spokesperson Joshua Mazibuko said in a statement.

"A responsible government would not have waited until there was loss of life and people's hard-earned properties before taking a decision."

He said the government had failed to "read the mood" of the residents and should not have decided to merge the municipalities.
Read more on:    anc  |  ifp  |  bloemfontein  |  protests

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