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DA says Matatiele residents not fully consulted on re-incorporation into KZN

Feb 27, 2018
DA says Matatiele residents not fully consulted on re-incorporation into KZN

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it does not support the open-ended report that was tabled in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature on Tuesday on the Intended Constitution Amendment Bill for the re-incorporation of the Matatiele Municipality back into KwaZulu-Natal.

Back in 2005, the municipality was moved from the KwaZulu-Natal province to the Eastern Cape as part of the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution - despite objections from the majority of residents, some who then founded the African Independent Congress (AIC) in response.

In 2006, the Constitutional Court ruled that the part of the 12th Amendment dealing with the transfer of Matatiele from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape was invalid due to insufficient consultation with stakeholders. However, the situation was eventually resolved, and Matatiele was confirmed as part of Eastern Cape province under the 13th Amendment.

According to the DA, again no meaningful consultation with the community of Matatiele over the matter, this time round.

"As stated in the report, public hearings were held at only two venues and limited to only eight members of the legislature's Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs due to 'budget constraints'," said Veliswa Mvenya (MPL) Member of the Portfolio Commitee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.  

For the report, click here:

"To say that there is no money does not make it right. Consultation is the cornerstone of any democracy," she added.

Mvenya said that this process has not been fair, nor has it been democratic:

  1. Matatiele consists of 26 wards, yet only two meetings were held;
  2. The delegation from the legislature was not representative, as neither Cope nor the EFF was present;
  3. The result of the 2009 referendum regarding whether Matatiele would be incorporated into the Eastern Cape or stay in KwaZulu-Natal was never released.

"The excuse of limited funds to do the consultation thoroughly is a feeble excuse and a slap in the face of the people of Matatiele, considering the R2.4-million that was spent on the State of the Province Address in Bhisho last week.

"The recommendation in the report 'Let the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services decide on whether to introduce or not introduce the Intended Constitution Amendment Bill on the basis of the facts presented in the report', is not a fair reflection of the will of the whole community of Matatiele," Mvenya said.

"If the legislature cannot fulfil its core mandate of lawmaking in lieu of lavish events, we might as well close shop.

"What we want is total change that will bring good governance and fairness in the Eastern Cape."