Showdown looms over demarcation

AFRICAN Independent Congress (AIC) president Mandla Galo said a meeting will be convened between the AIC top six national members to decide whether to stay in a coalition agreement with the ANC or not.

According to Galo, the meeting is expected to be convened on July 26.

The AIC signed a coalition agreement in two ANC led municipalities, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality and Rustenburg Municipality, in 2016.

Speaking to Fever on Tuesday, Galo said the ANC has failed to stick to the terms and conditions that they agreed on when they signed the coalition agreement.

He said the ANC is seemingly delaying the demarcation of Matatiele from Eastern Cape to the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

“We issued a notice for an urgent meeting with the ANC this week with the aim of discussing this matter.

“If they do not honour the meeting, we will take a harsh decision to teach the ANC a hard lesson today (Friday, July 27),” said Galo.

During the 2016 Local Government Elections, the ANC lost power in Rustenburg and Ekurhuleni however it retained power after signing a coalition agreement with the AIC on the basis of three conditions being met.

Firstly, the AIC wanted the ANC to fast-track processes of demarcating Matatiele town and its rural areas from Eastern Cape to KZN.

Secondly, the AIC wanted the ANC to build an agricultural college in Maluti and, finally, they requested tar roads be built on all routes leading to the Lesotho borders.

Galo said the AIC has been patiently waiting for the ANC to complete the demarcation processes but they are, seemingly, defaulting.

“A bill about the demarcation was supposed to be introduced to Parliament for discussions between April and May but was delayed with no reasons given.

“A few weeks ago, there was a meeting which was supposed to sit between five ANC and AIC members but the ANC postponed. Again, last week, the meeting did not sit as agreed with the ANC,” added Galo.

KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape legislatures held different public hearings over the issue in separate venues in March and lots of views were highlighted.

The Matatiele and Maluti Mass Action Organising Committee held a march in Matatiele with the aim of calling government to complete processes of demarcation for the future of Matatiele people and businesses.

Members of the committee also supported the relocation of Matatiele to KZN, saying the town has not been given attention by the Eastern Cape government.

On July 13, ANC National Chairperson Gwede Mantashe said the matter is in Parliament and processes will be followed. He was speaking to the media after delivering the memorial lecture of anti-apartheid activist Albertina Sisulu in Matatiele Town Hall on July 13.

He asked people of Matatiele not to panic about this matter.