Vuwani service shut down halted

Image: Antonio Muchave

The planned shut down of services in Vuwani that was scheduled to begin today has been halted.

This follows “fruitful” meetings between the Pro-Makhado Demarcation Task Team (PMDTT) and the Limpopo provincial Inter-Ministerial Task Team led by MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) Jerry Ndou.

The last-minute meeting held at the Vuwani Fire Station on Saturday resolved to halt the much-anticipated shut down, at least for now.

According to Nsovo Sambo, spokesman for the PMDTT, the meeting resolved that Ndou must evoke the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 Section 87.

The act states; “If the provision of basic services by a district or local municipality collapses or is likely to collapse because of that municipality's lack of capacity or for any other reason, the MEC for local government in the province may, after written notice to the district or local municipality and with immediate effect, allocate any functions and powers necessary to restore or maintain those basic services, to a local municipality which falls within that district municipality or to the district municipality in whose area that local municipality falls, as may be the case.”

Sambo said that the MEC had committed his “unwavering” support in addressing grievances of the people of Vuwani.

“The MEC will engage the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize on June 14 to find a lasting solution to re-determine municipal boundaries,” said Sambo.

He said among others they had agreed that a notice must be issued to enable the provincial government and the Vhembe District Municipality to be empowered to provide services in Vuwani.

The provincial government must also provide the PMDTT with a list of Grant Funded Projects from the current financial year and next financial year which must be implemented by Coghsta.

“We believe the approach by MEC Ndou will provide a lasting solution to this matter as he indicated that this situation cannot be allowed to drag on without finding one another,” he added.

The area has been in turmoil since 2015 following a decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board to incorporate Vuwani into Lim345, a new municipality comprising areas of Malamulele. The protests by community members saw at least 30 schools being torched.

Ndou's spokesman Paena Galane confirmed that the meeting between the MEC and members of the task team was fruitful.

“However, I must indicate that there are issues that need the attention of the Cogta Minister and they will be discussed during the course of the week,” stressed Galane.


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