Address by Bosman Grobler DA MPL, in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, on 17 March 2015 during the 2015/2016 Budget Speech
I rise to deliver a member statement on behalf of the Democratic Alliance
Community Safety MEC, Vusi Shongwe must immediately retract the promise he made to the protesting residents of Siyathemba Township near Balfour on Friday. In order to restore calm to the area, MEC Shongwe promised that this community would be amalgamated with Gauteng province and not Lekwa municipality as proposed by the Municipal Demarcation Board.
MEC Shongwe’s promise is misleading as an MEC has no authority to change provincial boundaries. Removing a community from one province and amalgamating it with another province is not simply a cut-and-paste exercise. This process is closely guarded by the Constitution and is likely to require an amendment to the Constitution.
Residents of Siyathemba Township have been embroiled in violent protests since last Wednesday. A number of buildings were burned down, including the local SASSA offices and the house of executive mayor, Cllr Sara Nhlapo. Schooling in this area was also brought to a standstill.
MEC Shongwe’s promise demonstrates the extent the ANC-led government is out of touch with the needs of communities and how false promises are used to disguise their inability to lead.
I thank you.