The Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs in Limpopo has resolved that the Collins Chabane Local Municipality will start providing services to the Vuwani area. Since its establishment in 2016, the municipality has not serviced Vuwani after angry residents, who demanded to be returned to the Makhado Local Municipality, embarked on violent protests.
Some provincial departments stepped in as a temporary measure. Vuwani experienced violent protests in 2016 after the Municipal Demarcation Board decided to incorporate the area into the then newly-established municipality, now known as Collins Chabane, in Malamulele.
This was just before the local government elections. It was an amalgamation of parts of Makhado and Thulamela municipalities.
Angry residents led by the Pro-Makhado Task Team then embarked on protests demanding to be returned to Makhado. Schooling, businesses, and other services were shut down for months and the local municipal offices were closed.
In August 2017, some provincial departments took over service delivery in Vuwani, but this has proved challenging due to limited funds and resources.
On Monday this week, an agreement was signed between Cooperative Governance MEC Basikopo Makamu, the Collins Chabane Municipality, and the Pro-Makhado Task Team to allow the municipality to start providing services to the area.
Collins Chabane Mayor Moses Maluleke has welcomed the decision and says they have already started working.
“We don’t have any problem. Already in terms of service delivery, we should have started that day the agreement was signed. But after that day, the next day we were on top of the situation, making sure that we deal with waste removal and also to make sure that we start cleaning our office which we reopened. We have staff there. So, everything is being organised to make sure that it works as a fully-fledged office. This is a milestone for us, 2016 up to date, it has been a serious challenge, so we are happy.”
Pro-Makhado Task Team spokesperson, Arnold Mulaudzi, has confirmed that they have signed the agreement for the restoration of services, but they are not abandoning their mission to be returned to the Makhado Municipality.
He hopes MEC Makamu’s commitment to engage the Municipal Demarcation Board on their behalf, will assist them.
“The MEC of CoGTA came into our midst and we managed to enter into an agreement to say after 2021 local government elections the MEC of CoGTA or the minister will invoke section 22 subsection 1b and request the Municipal Demarcation Board if it happens that they don’t come and engage us on our issues. Then as a result we have agreed with the government that we will cooperate with Collins Chabane in bringing services. I can confirm also that the offices have been opened.”
Meanwhile, MEC Makamu tabled a report during a provincial cabinet meeting today to rescind the decision made in 2017, directing provincial departments to provide services to Vuwani.
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