BACK TO MPUMALANGA
Victory is in sight for residents of the troubled Moutse district which was incorporated into Limpopo by the Municipal Demarcation Board four years ago.
An agreement was reached with ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe at a meeting this weekend in Bronkhorstspruit - about 90km away from the affected area.
According to one of three proposals presented by Mantashe at Saturday's meeting, the whole of Elias Motsoaledi municipality and five other wards that were incorporated into the Marble Hall municipality would be reincorporated into Mpumalanga.
The agreement was viewed by leaders of the Moutse Demarcation Forum as a victory even if they had to compromise on the Marble Hall and Tubatse municipalities. Tubatse includes the town of Burgersfort.
The news of the possible return to Mpumalanga was met with song and dance by scores of Moutse residents who had waited patiently outside the Kungwini municipal buildings. Back home, the celebrations continued until the early hours of yesterday.
"We are busy with preparations for a mass meeting to give the people the good news," Seun Mogotji, spokesperson for the Moutse Demarcation Forum, said yesterday. "The feedback will be followed by celebrations."
Moutse's victory against forced incorporation will be the second since the government's decision to reverse Khutsong's incorporation into North West several weeks ago.
After the meeting, Mantashe told the media that the ANC had tabled the report after receiving submissions from interested organisations in Moutse.
The groupings included traditional leaders, church organisations, as well as the pro- Limpopo and pro-Mpumalanga bodies, he said.
He said the solution to the problems in Moutse was not determined by the wisdom of the ANC but the engagement of the structures until an agreement was reached. Mantashe said the report was now in the hands of the local structures.
Mogotji said the ANC had made three proposals, all of which were acceptable to the forum.
"We still have to take the report to the masses for a decision though."
He told Sowetan: "We agreed on the reincorporation of the whole of Elias Motsoaledi municipality and five wards that were incorporated into Marble Hall, back into Mpumalanga."