Communities demand FTLM merger to be dissolved

BURGERSFORT – The merger between the former Greater Tubatse Municipality (GTM) and Fetakgomo Municipality (FM) is no longer hunky-dory. 

Several locals in Tubatse and Fetakgomo are demanding that the merger be dissolved.

The two municipalities were merged to form the current Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM) after the August 2016 local elections.

Earlier this month the Civil Society Movements Tubatse Communities held a meeting with the FTLM Exco urging them to do away with the merger.

They demanded that the merger be disregarded because public participation was not properly done. They also highlighted that the demarcation board be approached to assist with the clarification on what happened or caused the amalgamation.

Also among the demands is that GTM and FM be on their own, and all the FM staff return back to their offices in Apel.

The communities also said the FTLM must engage the demarcation board, Limpopo premier’s office, and Limpopo MEC for Cooperative governance,human settlements and traditional affairs Basikopo Makamu with regards to the cancelation of the merger.

The communities also complained about lack of service caused by the merger.

Resident of Ga Selepe Isaac Makgopa, issued a press statement tellibg Sekhukhune Times that the relationship between the two has failed.

“Our problem started when the Municipal Demarcation Board announced changed wards demarcation and municipal boundaries. The relationship between the former municipalities is not working at all.

“The former FM was one of the municipalities that had passed the 2009-10 audit by the Auditor General (AG) of South Africa.”

Makgopa added that the FTLM was undermining the residence because they don’t invite the public,stakeholders in terms of public participation.

“There is an outcry of employees regarding the equalization of salaries, “alleged the former councilor.

He concluded, “As we prepare to launch a new party, we will defend the legacy of Fetakgomo. We want it back.”

In May 2019, employees of the former FM allegedly wrote a letter threatening that they will no longer report to the offices in Burgersfort, but will report to the regional offi ces in Apel.

The employees cited that they were intimidated and unprotected. They also highlighted concerns with regards to safety and possible attacks from their fellow employees at the Burgersfort chamber’s offices.

Also in 2019, (Sanco),’s Jackson Tjatji said the merger was done improperly. “FM had only eight wards when it was merged, while GTM had more than 30 wards. FM employees were promoted after the merger while the GTM ones were ignored during the placement of workers. Some of them were even demoted.

“This merger has also badly affected, the acceleration of services in the municipality. There is no water and electricity projects have been stalled. “To resolve this mess, let FM go back to Apel and GTM remain in Burgersfort. “We don’t want a situation similar to Vuwani here. There were no consultations of magoshi or communities before this merger. We plead with government to resolve this dilemma, as it hampers service delivery

Thapelo Motseo

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