Barberton demands split with Mbombela

Barberton demands split with Mbombela
WANT OUT: Residents of Barberton say they want to go back to being a stand alone municipality. PICTURE BY Lowvelder

The protest is in its second week now.

The throes of violent protests in deputy president DD Mabuza’s Barberton home are a demand for the town to no longer fall under the Mbombela local municipality.

The residents want their own mayor now – and say a 2015 decision merging the Umjindi local municipality with the Mbombela local municipality should be reversed as it results in services no longer coming to them.

The residents, who grieve over unemployment and water shortages, began taking their anger to the streets – while also destroying public infrastructure like water tanks that were donated to the community by the mining companies in the area.

Back then when the decision was taken to amalgamate the two municipalities, officials argued that it would help Barberton with more government funding and efficient administration.

Shops belonging to foreign nationals were looted.

The residents say they want a “complete split” from Mbombela.

“Our demands are clear and we won’t give up until they are met,” one protester said when speaking to journalists.

Co-operative governance MEC Mandla Msibi addressed the community Thursday 13 February 2020 and urged the residents to exercise restraint when expressing their concerns.

(edited by MLM)

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