ANC NEC to hold talks on Khutsong

The Khutsong demarcation dispute will be discussed at a meeting between the African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) and representatives of the party’s Gauteng and North West structures on Tuesday, spokesperson Jessie Duarte said.

A delegation led by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe will hold talks with the Khutsong community, who don’t accept the region’s demarcation from Gauteng into the North West.

They are expected to begin the closed meeting at 10am, Duarte said.

Khutsong is west of Johannesburg and falls within the Merafong region, which had straddled Gauteng and the North West. It was then demarcated to fall into North West. Residents were angry about this, not only because they believed Gauteng could offer them better services, but because they had not been properly consulted before the demarcation went through Parliament.

Rioting began as some residents felt their concerns were not being heard, and pupils had to be bussed to other areas to keep up with their schooling.

The backlash led to a boycott of the 2006 local government elections in the area, despite attempts by then-ANC chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota to calm the situation.

Residents challenged the demarcation in the Constitutional Court. Although some of the six separate judgements were critical of the way the demarcation had been handled, the majority ruling held that the court could not become involved in the matter.—Sapa

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