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Crisis at Sakhisizwe Municipality in the Eastern Cape under the spotlight in a historic dialogue

20 Mar 2019 - 17:00

On 21 March 2019, about 50 people from various areas of the Sakhisizwe Local Municipal area will gather in Cala to discuss the state of the Sakhisizwe local municipality, one of the municipalities making up the Chris Hani District Municipality. This follows a wave of protests last year which saw all operations in the two towns of Cala and Elliot come to a complete standstill. The dialogue, jointly organised by the Cala University Students Association (CALUSA, an NGO based in Cala), the National Research Foundation (NRF) Research Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa in the Centre for African Studies based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education (a national activist education centre based in Cape Town) will unpack the circumstances leading to the protests, their causes and explore possible alternatives to address the current crisis. 

The dialogue will be attended by residents of the Sakhisizwe municipal area, activists and representatives of local government at provincial, district and local municipalities. Each will give their perspective on the challenges faced by the Sakhisizwe municipality. The structures represented include (not by their order of importance) the Afriforum, Cala Ratepayers Association, Elliot Residents Association, Ikhephu Farmers’ Secondary Co-op, Moral Regeneration Movement, Sakhisizwe Business Forum and Siyazakha Land Rights Movement. Academics Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza of UCT and Mr Sandile Swana of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), both conducting research and teaching courses on the land question and local government in South Africa will give inputs on the broader context of municipalities in a democratic South Africa and draw from their research explanations for the current crises facing municipalities in general.

Apart from the above inputs, the dialogue will provide space for local government officials to provide their own perspectives on the challenges facing municipalities in general and the Sakhisizwe municipality in particular.

The last session of the dialogue will be a facilitated open discussion whose purpose is to explore possible ways of addressing the current crises facing municipalities. This session will be led by presentations  from  a representative from  the Office of the Public Protector and two young Law students, Lindokuhle Nkohla and Lwazi Ncapayi, from two reputable Eastern Cape Universities; the Walter Sisulu University (formerly the University of Transkei - Unitra) and the University of Fort Hare. They take a keen interest in matters of community development.  

Municipalities are an important sphere and a terrain closest to the people. It is thus a level where the people themselves can give direction as to how they want to develop their areas.

Join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking and fruitful discussion.

The dialogue will be held at:
Venue: CALUSA Resource centre
Time: 09:00 AM

Contact persons:
Dr Fani Ncapayi (Research Associate in the Centre for African Studies at UCT, Senior Research of Inyanda National Land Movement and a member of CALUSA: 082 440 6067 - www.calusa.co.za
Prof Lungisile Ntsebeza of the Centre for African Studies at UCT: 082 900 9186 - www.africanstudies.uct.ac.za|
Mr Siviwe Mdoda (Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, Cape Town): 061 064 9938 - www.tshisimani.org.za

For MEDIA LIAISON, CONTACT: Batandwa Ntsebeza: 078 373 4216** Asanda Thara: 083 568 7384** Siphokazi Shinya: 076 449 8909** Solomzi Ntungwa: 063 366 1705