The fact that COGTA Minister, Des Van Rooyen, was booed by the crowd at Vuwani yesterday is yet another sign of the sheer lack of confidence, by the people of South Africa, in the ANC government.
The list of places in South Africa where ANC leaders and officials are no longer welcome to speak is growing rapidly. Continued booing highlights the waning legitimacy of Jacob Zuma’s ANC government.
President Zuma once again evaded accountability yesterday when he refused to answer the concerns of the Vuwani residents. His refusal to address a crowd that may have been hostile, is a serious failure of leadership and undermines accountable governance. The President of the Republic cannot pick and choose only the most receptive crowds to address.
The crisis in Vuwani has caused protracted and damaging protests and violence since a decision was taken in the Vhembe district before the 2016 municipal election for Malamulele and Vuwani to be amalgamated into a single municipality. The decision was taken without the people being consulted in a process that was described as flawed from the outset, and still to this day the people are not being taken into the confidence of government.
The ultimate sign of the failure of the amalgamation project is that the Vhembe district municipality has now been instructed to take over the delivery of services from the amalgamated local municipality. This is evidence of a failed and politically-motivated demarcation exercise.
There is no purpose of paying for local councillors and administrative officials in LIM345 Local Municipality, if all services are to be provided by Vhembe District Municipality.
Following from yesterday’s aborted public meeting in Vuwani, the DA will request that Minister Van Rooyen brief Parliament’s COGTA committee on this failed event, where we will question Van Rooyen on the announced plan for how Vhembe District Municipality will be able to provide services to the people of Vuwani. This appears to be an unprecedented action. A local government cannot simply be absolved of its duties to deliver services.
For this reason, the DA in Limpopo has requested access to the documents and the reasons for absolving the newly amalgamated LIM345 Local Municipality from its duties. I support this call by DA Limpopo Leader Jacques Smalle.
The DA will press the Minister in Parliament to ensure that proper services reach the people of Vuwani.
It is clear that people are fed up with the ANC in Vuwani.
It is time for the ANC, from Jacob Zuma and Des Van Rooyen, to the entire Executive, to admit that it is perpetuating the crisis in Vuwani, rather than solving it.
The people demand better than what the ANC government is doing in Vuwani.