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Limpopo Vhembe District Municipality inaugurated

Limpopo’s Vhembe District Municipality was inaugurated on Wednesday. It includes protest-prone Malamulele, Vuwani and Hlanganani. The municipality is currently called Lim345.

The African National Congress (ANC) holds the positions of mayor, speaker and chief whip while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) holds six seats and the Democratic Alliance (DA) two.

“I would like to appreciate the people of this new entity for voting us in numbers. So I can promise them that working together with them we are going to achieve what people of this area have been crying for, for a long time,” says newly appointed mayor Joyce Bila.

The municipality is currently run from Malamulele. Councillors from 13 wards in Vuwani were among those sworn in.

Vuwani 
residents have protested a demarcation board decision to incorporate them into the new municipality.

Bila,also says she will work with all the opposition parties in the council to improve service delivery.

Hundreds of residents mainly from the Malamulele and Hlanganani areas came to witness the swearing-in of the members of the executive council and the councillors.

At the council sitting the name LIM345 was adopted and the late public administration minister Collins Chabane was honoured. The new municipality has been named after him.

As the council sitting was in progress –  the EFF PR councillors walked out and did not participate in the nomination of the top three officials, including the mayor. The EFF says it did not want to be part of what they call the ANC rubber-stamping processes. The majority party, the ANC, elected members of the executive committee.

The EFF PR councillor, Lybon Baloyi, says they will still participate in running the municipality.

“Basically were were not going to stay there inside because they have already elected their own councillor, their own mayor so for us staying there it will be useless so that is why we walked out. It is not our councillor, it is not our mayor. The ANC is the majority we are a minority even if we stayed there and raise our hands it will be useless. We are going to participate in this council we will make sure that the municipality must give service to the people.”

Although some traditional leaders from Vuwani did not attend the ceremony, those who support the new municipality say they welcome the inauguration of the new council.

One of the chiefs, Khwara Nengwekhulu, says they are optimistic that the municipality will deliver services.

“I am so happy today because the municipality which we were looking for we ended up getting that new municipality and today its a final day because all the councillors, the mayors and everybody have been sworn in just to deliver the service to the people of all the people of this municipality.”

One of the community leaders in Malamulele, Eric Nukeri, says they welcome the naming of the new municipality.

“We are very much happy as the task team for the fact that we have delivered what we aspired to have the municipality we are now much hopeful that services are now at the door step.”

The ANC won 35 wards, while an independent candidate won one ward. The ANC also has 25 PR seats, the EFF has 6 PR seats, the DA two, while the Ximoko Party and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) have one each.

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