Talks on reincorporating Moutse into Mpumalanga

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

A high-profile delegation from the Department of Provincial and Local Government is to meet local leaders in the Moutse district to discuss its reincorporation into Mpumalanga.

Three years ago the municipal demarcation board resolved to remove Moutse district from the administration of Mpumalanga and incorporated it into Limpopo.

The locals have since openly challenged the decision by protesting in the streets and destroying government property.

Their main gripe was the lack of proper consultation prior to the incorporation and also that many people who supported the decision were bused in from Limpopo, outside the Moutse district.

Moutse residents took the department to the constitutional court last month demanding to be reincorporated into Mpumalanga.

But the department requested a postponement to allow it time to conduct more public hearings.

Following further pressure from the community, the department has decided to meet local leaders from various sectors on Wednesday morning in Dennilton, Moutse East.

Department spokesman Brutus Tlhakula said yesterday that though Minister Sicelo Shiceka would not be attending Wednesday's meeting, the delegation would include senior officials and the minister's advisers.

A confirmation letter from the department indicated that tomorrow's meeting would discuss matters associated with the Moutse cross-boundary dispute and that representatives would have an "opportunity to raise issues which may have been overlooked during the earlier consultations".

"Consequently the discussions might redefine the final Bills which will be promulgated into law by the president," the department said.

Many people in the local community have vowed not to vote in next year's elections should the government fail to reverse the incorporation.

They have on numerous occasions reiterated that "we will only vote in Mpumalanga and not in Limpopo".