Residents continue to resist merger

2013-01-30 18:57

Pretoria - The mooted merger of the Metsimaholo and Ngwathe local municipalities in the Free State will never happen, a residents' association said on Wednesday.

Lucky Malebo, chairperson of the Metsimaholo Concerned Residents, said they would not allow any merger processes to go ahead.

He was addressing a joint briefing by the residents' association and the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) in Pretoria.

"Before the submission [to merge the municipalities] we were supposed to be consulted, by law.

"That first step was violated and the whole process falls apart.

"At the end, it doesn’t matter whether the board says we merge or we don’t. We as the residents say we don’t merge. We are saying this matter will not happen, no ways.”

Violent protests broke out two weeks ago in Sasolburg's Zamdela township against the proposed merger.

Four people were killed, and several others, including two police officers, were injured. More than 200 people were arrested. There was substantial damage to property.

MDB chairperson Landiwe Mahlangu said his organisation would probe the processes around the proposed merger instituted by the Free State government.

"Before the board can take a decision on reconsidering any municipalities, there are a number of factors to be considered.

"We are not desperate to amalgamate municipalities at the cost of the welfare of the residents, Mahlangu said.

"The reasons given [for the proposed merger] were along the lines that merged municipalities were going to function much better.

"I can confirm it [the proposal] was done by the province and the district,” he said.

  • seun.mogotji - 2013-01-30 20:00

    It really is not possible for me to imagine and understand the worldviews of township mobs. But they are a part of life in SA and do seem to be a growing problem. Also, like most tax/rate paying people I am fed up with the demands for more

      dirk.zyl.7 - 2013-01-30 20:26

      Good comment. But we will just have to shut up and pay my friend.

  • Strikeback - 2013-01-30 20:40

    Seun. When they have your number, you will pay for the rest of your days. The "mob" is used by politicians to stay in power. Why would people really care under which munisipality they resort. The one is as useless as the other. But some politicians (also known as councillors) stand to loose their positions and place on the gravy train. A good enough reason as any to use the "mob" to stir the pot.

  • walter.tgsa - 2013-01-30 20:49

    And I am asking the same question I have asked before (and never got an answer): What's the issue about merging? Why are the residents against it? Why are they smiling when they destroy and loot other people's property? When on the East Rand every municipality got merged to form EKURHULENI (a mistake, if you ask me...), nobody rebelled? What are these people losing by having ONE municipality? I do not understand the whole fuss, but maybe somebody can explain to me?

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