Matatiele residents want to stay part of KZN

The Matatiele-Maluti mass action group has filed an urgent application with the Constitutional Court asking to be excluded from Friday’s legislation on municipal boundaries, South African Broadcasting Corporation radio news reports.

The Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill, signed into law on Friday, will transfer the Matatiele area from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape.

The measure is intended to eliminate cross-boundary municipalities. Matatiele residents are contending that theirs is not a cross-boundary municipality.

On December 14, the National Council of Provinces gave the final green light to controversial legislation doing away with cross-boundary municipalities.

The Constitution Twelfth Amendment and the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Bill affect 17 municipalities. Along with Matatiele, three other contentious ones are Merafong (Gauteng to North West), Bushbuckridge (split between Mpumalanga and Limpopo) and Khalagadi (North West to Northern Cape).

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Johnny de Lange earlier said that cross-boundary municipalities had made it difficult for the government to provide services to communities in an equitable and sustainable manner, and to promote integrated social and economic development and effective local government.—Sapa


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