Van Rooyen urges Vuwani residents to appeal rezoning

Van Rooyen urges Vuwani residents to appeal rezoning

Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen has encouraged the community of Vuwani to appeal to the High Court on the demarcation board's decision to rezone their area following days of protests.

Vuwani from the sky_jacanews
Photo: Maryke Vermaak, JacarandaFM News

"No one can reverse the demarcation board's decision. It's only the court of law that can reverse. The government can't reverse. That is why we encourage those who are not happy with the findings of the Supreme Court to take this to appeal," he said yesterday.

Van Rooyen, with Minister of State Security David Mahlobo and Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu were part of a ministerial task team assigned by President Jacob Zuma to the area.

Also read: Unions, civil organisations join the call to stop Vuwani protests

The ministers, accompanied by a strong police contingent, visited two schools to assess the damage.

Limited power

Van Rooyen said government's powers were limited and did not have the authority to influence the demarcation board.

He said the destruction of property in Vuwani was a setback for government's development agenda as resources supposed to be committed to new developments would suffer.

"This will have an impact on the fiscus allocation. Just for this medium term we have allocated R1.6bn to main projects in the area," he said, adding that government had added a further R2.6bn.

"Now we have to reprioritise and readjust... We are delaying service delivery. It's a lost opportunity," he remarked.

Police visibility

Sotyu said they would increase police visibility in the area in the next few days. She said 60 public order police had already arrived.

This comes after community members showed their dissatisfaction over the area being merged with Malulela.

Vuwani residents took to the streets burning schools after they lost a High Court bid to have the area remain within the Makhando Municipality last week.

Mahlobo said 19 schools had gone up in flames to date. Other reports said 23 schools had been torched.

(Photo: Jacaranda FM News)

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