Sasolburg residents: Govt is feeding us lies

Residents say there's been no consultation on the proposed merger of two FS municipalities.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Richard Baloyi updating Media on situation in Zamdela, Sasolburg. Picture: GCIS

ZAMDELA/JOHANNESBURG - Zamdela residents in Sasolburg on Friday said there were bitterly disappointed with their local councillors, who had still not still addressed them in the wake of violent protests that had left four people dead and several others injured.

Protesters took to the streets of the township on Sunday, angry over the proposed merger of two municipalities.

At least 256 people have been arrested, after widespread looting and damage to property.

A leader of the concerned resident's group, Lucky Malebo, said all they wanted was an explanation as to why the merger was being proposed.

He said Metsimaholo mayor Brutus Mahlaku's claims, that the council conducted a 7-day consultation period, was also not true.

"The mayor is a liar. These guys are talking a lot of rubbish. We called upon them to come to our meeting on 20 January, they never showed up."

He said all community members wanted were answers as to why Government made the proposal and what both municipalities stood to gain from the move.

The Municipal Demarcations Board has meanwhile said it will meet with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs within the next week, to discuss the way forward - in the aftermath of violent protests in Sasolburg.

The board maintains it gave the Sasolburg community enough time to protest the decision to merge, but said it would re-evaluate how public hearings in the future would be held.

The board's chairman, Nondumiso Gwayi, said they would work with the department to prevent more violence.

"The Minister and the board have agreed to identify similar cases, that is where they are proposed amalgamations, that may exhibit a potential for such a protest in other parts of the country."