Debate on relocation of Matatiele to KZN rages on in Parliament, Newsline

Cape Town – Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Parks Tau said on Thursday it would be remiss of him to speak in Parliament on behalf of the ANC regarding the relocation of Matatiele to KwaZulu-Natal.

“I would really suggest in this regard that I’m not an appropriate person. I serve in a provincial structure and not in the national. Engagements were between national and yourselves,” he said.

He was responding to an oral question from African Independent Congress (AIC) MP Lulama Ntshayisa, who asked what had happened to their arrangement with the ANC on the future of Matatiele when they entered into a coalition in Ekurhuleni metro.

The AIC has been spearheading the transfer of Matatiele from the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, after the department went to get the views of the people on the matter but never made public the results.

In his initial question, Ntshayisa asked whether Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma had considered to support the redemarcation Matatiele under Harry Gwala District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal following a meeting between her and his party leader.

Tau said Dlamini Zuma’s role was to provide leadership and guidance and oversight to local government.

“The deputy minister also said various engagements have taken place on the matter,“ Tau said.

“The minister has a role to facilitate a political and an administrative process that will enable an outcome on this matter, but we are not yet there. We are not at a point to deal with the final outcome.

“The final outcome will be part of a process we will have to collectively undertake as government and Parliament,” he said.

Tau said his department has engaged the Department of Justice regarding compliance of the bill amending the constitution.

“This process led to consultation among provinces – KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. The minister of Justice requested their views with a proposal for constitutional amendment of provincial boundaries. That process should be resuscitated jointly between ourselves and the Department of Justice,” he said.

But Ntshayisa said late former minister Sicelo Shiceka had authorised a referendum to test the views of the Matatiele residents and 69% were in favour of incorporation into KwaZulu-Natal, but the outcome was never released.

Tau said in terms of the constitution, outcomes of a referendum should be made public. He said he was informed by Cogta that there was never a referendum other than a survey.

“I do think various processes of engagements with public views should have taken place and brought in arriving at a final decision and that includes results of the survey.”

Political Bureau