ANC, Gordhan step in to resolve escalating Malamulele crisis

22 January 2015 - 02:21 By Kingdom Mabuza
WAKE-UP CALL: Residents of Malamulele in Limpopo wash their clothes in the Luvuvhu River. They boycotted the elections because they feel they are not enjoying the better life for all promised by the ANC. The party's support in the province has declined significantly since 1994. File photo
WAKE-UP CALL: Residents of Malamulele in Limpopo wash their clothes in the Luvuvhu River. They boycotted the elections because they feel they are not enjoying the better life for all promised by the ANC. The party's support in the province has declined significantly since 1994. File photo
Image: MOELETSI MABE

The ANC has stepped in to resolve the crisis in Malamulele, Limpopo, where residents have been protesting since Monday last week to demand the establishment of their own municipality.

They allege that Thulamela Municipality, under which their area falls, discriminates against them.

The Malamulele area is inhabited predominately by Xitsonga-speaking people, while Thohoyandou, where the municipality is run, is dominated by Vhavenda.

A task team comprising Malamulele residents and ANC provincial leaders has submitted a report to the ANC's national executive committee.

The report makes a number of recommendations. ANC provincial general secretary Knocks Seabi said he was not at liberty to disclose the contents of the report to the media.

"A decision will be taken at the highest level of the ANC and cabinet. The ANC in the province and the provincial government have no power to make any decision on this matter," he said.

Seabi, who voiced concern about the disruption of education, said he hoped the situation would be amicably resolved. He denied tribalism was at the heart of the crisis.

Professor Tinyiko Maluleke of the University of Pretoria said Malamulele residents had every right to demand better services.

"What I am not sure about is their demand for a municipality, because that is not a guarantee for improved services," he said.

ANC national spokesman Keith Khoza said he was not sure whether the matter would be on the agenda of the upcoming ANC lekgotla.

Yesterday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan appealed to protesters to desist from preventing children from going to school.

"Constructive solutions can only be found by ethical engagement. In the meantime, we have looked into the provision of services in the Malamulele area and will publish our findings shortly," he said.

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