Vuwani Is Once Again On The Verge Of Chaos

PICTURE: Capricorn Review

VUWANI: On Monday, Nsovo Sambo, a spokesperson for the “Pro-Makhado” group, which wants to remain in the Makhado municipality, told Power 987 Drive’s Thabiso Thema that Vuwani will be shut down again.

Vuwani is once again on the verge of chaos. The town went up in flames as residents protested the joining of two municipalities. But peace was restored once former president Jacob Zuma and Vhavenda king Toni Mphephu-Ramabulana brokered an agreement.

But on Monday, Nsovo Sambo, a spokesperson for the “Pro-Makhado” group, which wants to remain in the Makhado municipality, told Power 987 Drive’s Thabiso Thema that Vuwani will be shut down again.

Msambo said the agreement had broken down, which a number of government departments refusing to do what they had promised. According to Msambo, “a technical team that was supposed to be set up to investigate the conflict over the merging of the municipalities, did not materialise.”

“There was a resolution … to seek a lasting solution to re-determine the (municipal) boundary. Ever since that resolution was adopted in August 2017, it has only been partially implemented by the government,” he said.

Msambo said many government departments have ignored Vuwani. He said the department of public works has all but stopped providing services to the area and there is “not much in terms of waste collection.”

He said the provincial department of transport is only partially functional. “The rest of the departments are not doing anything to honour the resolutions,” he explained. 

Msambo said the community has tried to engage government again, but “government is not entertaining what we are saying. Government is hoping we will forget.”

When the radio host asked if the group was threatening another shut down, Msambo said, “It’s not a threat, it’s a reality.”

The violent protests in 2016 and 2017 saw ten schools, many government buildings and business burnt down, News24 reported. Scores of school children were prevented from attending school and writing exams.

A school was set alight earlier this year, according to TimesLive, although it is not clear if this was linked to the dispute over the municipal boundary.