'Merger is to rescue Parys'

Zamdela residents say the merging of municipalities is to rescue the Premier's hometown of Parys.

Aftermath of the violent protests in Sasolburg on 21 January 2013. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Many residents at the Zamdela township in the Free State on Thursday said the proposed merger of their area is an attempt to rescue Free State Premier Ace Magashule' hometown of Parys.

The proposed merger of Ngwase and Metsimaholo Municipalities angered locals who took to the streets this week destroying property and looting businesses.

The violence subsided after Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi announced on Tuesday that the merger would be temporarily halted.

While residents are unsure if their grievances have fallen on deaf ears, they remain united in their rejection of the merger.

Locals believe the merger of the two municipalities is a desperate attempt by Magashule to uplift his home town.

Locals claim that people from Parys are already stealing their jobs thanks to Magashule's influence in the province.

Residents say they face a bleak future and hope shops would soon open to supply them with basic groceries.

A number of spaza shops run by foreigners have closed down for good after being looted by protesters.

Meanwhile, a construction site was set alight overnight by opportunist criminals who had nothing to do with the strike.