The DA does not support the open-ended report that was tabled in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature today (subs: 27 February 2018) on the Intended Constitution Amendment Bill for the re-incorporation of the Matatiele Municipality back into KwaZulu-Natal, as no meaningful consultation took place with the community.
As stated in the report, public hearings were held at only two venues and limited to only eight members of the legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs due to “budget constraints”. For the report, click here: ATC 1 OF 26 FEBRUARY 2018 Matatiele report
To say that there is no money does not make it right. Consultation is the cornerstone of any democracy. This process has not been fair, nor has it been democratic:
- Matatiele consists of 26 wards, yet only two meetings were held;
- The delegation from the legislature was not representative, as neither Cope nor the EFF was present;
- The result of the 2009 referendum regarding whether Matatiele would be incorporated into the Eastern Cape or stay in KwaZulu-Natal was never released.
The excuse of limited funds to do the consultation thoroughly is a feeble excuse and a slap in the face of the people of Matatiele, considering the R2.4-million that was spent on the State of the Province Address in Bhisho last week.
The recommendation in the report “Let the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services decide on whether to introduce or not introduce the Intended Constitution Amendment Bill on the basis of the facts presented in the report”, is not a fair reflection of the will of the whole community of Matatiele.
If the legislature cannot fulfil its core mandate of lawmaking in lieu of lavish events, we might as well close shop.
What we want is total change that will bring good governance and fairness in the Eastern Cape. — Veliswa Mvenya MPL, member of the portfolio committee on Cooperative Governance