The South African Communist Party (SACP) is accusing its alliance partner, the ANC, of using the plight of Matatiele residents to sustain its control of Ekurhuleni Metro.
This follows media reports last month that the ANC brokered a deal with the African Independent Congress (AIC) for the parties to form a coalition in Ekurhuleni – on condition the ANC, as ruling party, agrees on the reincorporation of Matatiele in KwaZulu-Natal.
At a meeting at the Calgary conference centre in Buffalo City Metro last weekend, the SACP’s provincial executive committee (PEC) agreed to lobby Matatiele residents to reject such a move.
Matatiele was moved from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape in 2005. The AIC has been fighting for it to be reincorporated into KwaZulu-Natal since 2009.
SACP spokesman Siyabonga Mdodi said the decision by the ANC national leadership “to donate Matatiele to KwaZulu-Natal so as to keep Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality is part of the ongoing arrogance and recklessness by the ANC, as the decision is taken without engaging the people – without considering the impact of the decision to the people of Matatiele and … the province as a whole.”
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe leads an ANC team set up to deal with the Ekurhuleni coalition agreement and the Matatiele issue. Ekurhuleni is the only Gauteng metro still run by the ANC.
Following months of protracted talks, it was announced in March that the two parties had signed a memorandum of understanding to help kickstart the process of reintegrating Matatiele into KZN.
When the announcement was made some residents threatened to make the town ungovernable, forcing Matatiele mayor Momelezi Mbedla to concede that residents had not been properly briefed.
Mdodi said the decision was taken “arrogantly” and would have a negative impact on the budget allocation for the Eastern Cape.
“As we speak, between 2012 and 2016 the province has lost R10-billion in its allocation due to migration of people to other provinces.
“As the SACP, we will convene imbizos with the people of Matatiele to engage them on the matter.”
The deal was brokered to ensure that the ANC retained power in Ekurhuleni, but it was unable to prevent three more metros – Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and Tshwane – from voting the Democratic Alliance into power in the August 2016 election.
“We will be in the forefront of mobilising the people of Matatiele to reject this controversially taken decision as there should be nothing about them without them.
“They must not to be used to maintain power for the elite,” said Mdodi. The party also criticised the move by Eskom’s board and Public Enterprises Minister Lynn Brown to reappoint Brian Molefe as the power utility’s CEO.
“We view the reappointment of the tainted Brian Molefe as tantamount to spitting in the face of the people who voted for this government,” Mdodi said.
He was responding to an announcement by Brown on Friday.
Molefe resigned late last year following the release of a damning public protector’s report highlighting a questionable relationship between Molefe and the Gupta family.
The PEC also reiterated its earlier call for President Jacob Zuma to resign.
Minister Brown was reportedly summoned to account at the ANC headquarters in Luthuli House for the decision. — Tiso Black Star Group