Nxuba Local Municipality residents protest against proposed merger

MARCH 31, 2015

Residents of Nxuba Local Municipality, in the Amatole District, have reportedly threatened to make their municipality ungovernable if the Eastern Cape Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs proceeds with the proposed merger of their municipality with the Nkonkobe Local Municipality.

On Monday, the residents protested at the Nxuba Municipal offices in Bedford and later handed over a memorandum to the municipal manager.

The residents claim that if their municipality - which includes the towns of Adelaide and Bedford and surrounding farms, is merged with Nkonkobe Municipality, they will have to travel more than 90 km to access services.

Some of them would prefer the municipality be combined with the Blue Crane Route Local Municipality which is less than 30 km away from their municipality.

The residents' memorandum also raised concerns about what they call alarming fraud and nepotism incidents in their municipality.

The farming community and the Rate Payers Association are also against the merger.

Around 70 dysfunctional municipalities across the country are set to be disbanded and merged with stronger ones. In the Eastern Cape, there are about seven dysfunctional municipalities that will likely be dissolved.

The Municipal Demarcation Board has scheduled several public meetings to discuss the proposed amalgamations. The municipalities in the spotlight include the Ikwezi, Baviaans and Camdeboo local municipalities in the Sarah Baartman District as well as the proposed mergers of the Gariep and Maletswai Municipalities, the Nxuba and Nkonkobe Municipalities and the Inkwanca, Tsolwana and Lukhanji Municipalities in the Eastern Cape.

Public meetings will be held between the 15th and 17th of April in the Sarah Baartman, Amathole, Chris Hani and Joe Gqabi District Municipalities.