Malamulele residents plan action
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Johannesburg - Residents of Malamulele in Limpopo would hold a meeting on Saturday to plan a way forward following an announcement that the area does not qualify for its own municipality.
Malamulele task team secretary Isaac Nukeri said the residents were angry.
“The residents are very angry with government. We will however maintain the status quo in the area and decide on the way forward at the community meeting at 2pm,” Nukeri said.
On Friday, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) announced that Malamulele does not qualify for its own municipality in terms of legislation.
Residents reacted angrily to the news. They blocked roads and set tyres alight in protest.
Residents demanding their own municipality have brought Malamulele to a standstill in recent weeks, monitoring roads to ensure no business takes place, and forcing a shutdown of schools as well as shops in the local mall.
Last year, protesters set fire to shops and looted, causing millions of rand in damage.
Residents have blamed the MDB for not heeding their call for Malamulele and some surrounding areas, especially the Xitsonga-speaking ones, to have a separate municipality.
They claim they are not receiving services from the Thulamela municipality, which they allege has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking areas.
The demand for another municipality has fuelled tensions between Tshivenda and Xitsonga speakers, and triggered divisions among local traditional leaders, as some regard it as a tribal issue.
Limpopo police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said the road to Malamulele town remained cordoned off on Saturday.
“It is relatively quiet this morning (Saturday), there were no overnight incidents.”