Mier Municipality amalgamated with Khara Hais
Sun, 03 Jul 2016 13:58:08
After 85 years of being an independent municipality, the Mier Municipality in the Northern Cape has now been amalgamated with Khara Hais Municipality.
Despite assurances from government, the amalgamation has not gone down well with residents in Mier.
Northern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Alvin Botes announced the formation of South Africa’s largest municipality on Sunday morning.
The Mier Municipality, which lies a stone’s throw away from the Namibian border, is now one with the Khara Hais Municipality based in Upington – some 260 kilometers away.
The new municipality will fall under the ZF Mgcawu District.
Botes says the move to join the two was made to improve the economy of the area.
“The amalgamation process has been necessitated by the fact that Mier is a very small municipality with a very restrictive income base. By amalgamating with the Khara Hais municipality, it means that we speak to the agenda of rural development of this government. In this area, it means that in basic terms, that the rich will subsidize the poor.”
According to the district municipality mayor, Abraham Vosloo, service delivery to the new municipality will be improved.
“We can safely say, as the government in the ZFM District, that the amalgamation of Mier and Khara Hais municipalities is totally in the best interest of the households and the people of the different municipalities. Because at the end of the day, services would now be brought to the people in a cost effective manner, it’ll be brought to people in an efficient manner.”
However, these assurances by local and provincial government have not gone down well with Mier residents.
“We not happy about this, we want to be Mier. We don’t want our name to be changed. And we want to be managed by our own people,” says one resident.
“The people of Mier have governed Mier successfully for the past 85 years. Now we must be governed by Upington. How will they do that when they just drive past here and know nothing about Mier?.”
“How can I feel happy? Do you see my face? No I am not happy, illiterate people managed the municipality and now literate people should do a better job,” says another resident.
The new municipality will be named after deceased Khomani San healer and leader Dawid Kruiper.
This is to pay homage to Kruiper who is best known for walking more than 1000km from the Kalahari to Parliament to talk about issues affecting the San people.
His daughter, Lys Kruiper-Pietersen says her father’s family is happy about this.
“The family doesn’t have a problem. It is a privilege for us because it is leaving a legacy so our children and their children know that it has been named after Oom Dawid.”
The government has assured employees of both the Mier and Khara Hais municipalities that they will not lose their jobs following the amalgamation.
Government also says that it will provide new satellite municipal offices in Mier for the community.