Question NW1309 to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

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26 June 2018 - NW1309

Profile picture: Rawula, Mr T

Rawula, Mr T to ask the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

What (a) has his department done to uncover the source of unrest and protests in Keiskammahoek, Eastern Cape, which led to the death of a protestor at the hands of police and (b) steps is he taking to address the concerns raised by the people of Keiskammahoek about lack of service delivery to the town?


Background of Amahlathi LM

The Amahlathi local municipality is a Category B municipality situated in the Amathole District in the Eastern Cape. It is bordered by the Chris Hani District to the north, Buffalo City Metropolitan municipality to the south, Mnquma and Great Kei to the east and Raymond Mhlaba to the west. Amahlathi municipality is an administrative area and it one of the six municipalities in the Amathole District. Amahlathi is an isiXhosa name that means “a place where many trees are grouped together to form a forest. It covers 4 505km² of land. The names of Cities and Towns surrounding the municipality are: Cathcart, Kei Road, Keiskammahoek and Stutterheim. The economic sectors active in the municipality are, namely: Community services (37%), finance (27%), manufacturing (18%), trade (10%), agriculture (4%), construction (2%), and transport (2%).

Political Management

African National Congress

Democratic Alliance

Economic Freedom Fighters

24 seats

3 seats

3 seats

The majority party is the African National Congress.

(a) The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs visited the area of Keiskammahoek twice during 2018, and facilitated a coherent response to community concerns. The leadership of SANCO and the community committed themselves to work with the Provincial Government and an inclusive task team has been established, which is meant to monitor the implementation of the support plan by the Province and National Government.

It was discovered that the source of public unrest was as a result of the lack of feedback meetings between the municipality and the community including the sector department work planned for the community. It’s regrettable that a life was lost during the protests and the matter is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

(b) During the meeting with the community of Keiskammahoek delivered a petition that outlines their concerns regarding the services, namely; status of roads, hospital and housing projects. A follow-up feedback meeting with the community happened on the 13 May 2018, whereby all the provincial sector departments expected to address the pace of service delivery were present at the meeting to engage the community. As a result of the Minister’s intervention in the community of Keiskammahoek, a provincial Technical Task Team, led by the Head of Department of CoGTA in the Eastern Cape, was established to facilitate responses and the MEC is the overall political coordinator of the feedback given his responsibilities in the Provincial Executive Council.

The Petition Response Plan Document has been completed and the community representatives were engaged about the contents of the document for further improvement on the responses. Provincial Government is already dealing with some service delivery challenges in consultation with community representatives.

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