Sasolburg merger going ahead despite Minister’s assurance

Patricia Kopane MP

Free State Provincial Leader

The DA calls on Premier Ace Magashule to publically state his position on the Sasolburg and Parys mergers as plans for these municipalities go ahead. It appears that both the Premier and Minister Baloyi have misled the residents of these municipalities. Minister Baloyi announced to Sasolburg residents on 24 January that the proposed merger had been suspended.

However, advertisements in the media this weekend announcing public meetings on the amalgamation of the two municipalities confirm that that the minister was merely paying lip-service to the affected communities in order to prevent political unrest. The real possibility of further unrest in Sasolburg exists if Premier Magashule does not clarify his position on the merge. His administration was responsible for the original merger proposal to the MDB and the Premier has a responsibility to make his views known. By publically opposing the merger, the Premier can give assurance to the residents of Sasolburg that these public consultations on the merge are not just a front to get fake buy-in from a community that strongly opposes the merger.

There is no need for violence and loss of life that resulted from the Premier’s previous attempt to force the merger on residents. The DA remains against the proposal by the Free State Government to amalgamate the two municipalities and will monitor the public hearings closely to ensure that the Metsimaholo residents are given the opportunity to raise their concerns and that their views are given primary priority in the process.

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