Cosatu urges state to revisit Khutsong relocation

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

Cosatu has called on the government to take a fresh look at its decision to place Khutsong in North West.

The union federation said it would engage with the ANC to find a political solution that would bring peace to the area. Khutsong has been experiencing violent protests since it was incorporated into the North West last year.

The disruptions have resulted in libraries being burnt, schools closed, public transport not operating and service delivery stopped.

Cosatu secretary general in Gauteng, Sphiwe Mgcina, said the state must admit that the community of Khutsong was duped into believing their concerns would be considered during public hearings.

"Residents were given the wrong impression that their voices would count when the final decision was made," said Mgcina.

"After they overwhelmingly said they wanted to remain in Gauteng, the government went against their wishes."

The ANC Youth League has also added its voice to the Khutsong crisis. The youth league's spokesman Zizi Kodwa has called on the government to consider a referendum to test the views and wishes of the people of Khutsong.

"Khutsong is a good example of the distance between leaders and communities. Whatever decision government takes, it has to enjoy the popular support of the people," he said.

Kodwa said the attitude of residents of Khutsong had been hardened by government ignoring their concerns.

"There insufficient consultation, " said Kodwa.

Department of rovincial and local government was not available for comment.