Board to investigate Sasolburg merger

The Metsimaholo and Ngwathe municipalities might still be merged, but only in 2016.

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

SASOLBURG - The Municipal Demarcations Board (MDB) will launch an investigation into the viability of merging the Metsimaholo and Ngwathe municipalities in the Free State.

The board met with the concerned residents in Metsimaholo on Wednesday, after last week's violent protests in Sasolburg claimed the lives of four people.

Board chairperson Landiwe Mahlangu said they will look into the financial benefits, visit affected areas and make their decision known by November.

The proposed merger would only take place in 2016, Mahlangu added.

Last week, Coorporative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi said that the merger would be halted.

This was dismissed by the MDB, which said only it could make that decision.

Many residents at the Sasolburg township said the proposed merger was an attempt to rescue Free State Premier Ace Magashule's hometown of Parys.

The Ngwathe Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Fezile Dabi District.

"Ngwathe" is the Sesotho name for the Renoster River, which runs through the area.

Just under 120,000 people live in the municipality.

(Edtied by Katleho Mogase)