Enkangala ‘relocates’ to Gauteng
Community jubilant after years of ‘neglect’
THE announcement by Premier David Makhura this week that the community of Enkangala, previously in Mpumalanga, was now officially part of Gauteng, signified the beginning of a better life.
This was the sentiment by community leader Bushy Mokwena, who said the people were happy about the prospects of imminent developments to the semi-rural area.
He said that for decades residents in the area had felt neglected by the Mpumalanga government, which seemingly did not prioritise them when it allocated a service delivery budget.
“The community was not happy with being under the administration of Mpumalanga because the nearest business hub for them is Pretoria, while the administration for Mpumalanga is in Nelspruit. The distance between us and Nelspruit affected service delivery,” Mokwena said.
The road to become part of Gauteng, he said, was not easy. People had to embark on numerous protests to demonstrate grievances regarding their stay in Mpumalanga.
Mokwena said: “The service delivery was very poor and we believe that ◆ ◆ ◆ Gauteng will be better.”
He added that the demands for relocation started when Mbhazima Shilowa was premier of Gauteng.
On Tuesday, when Makhura finally broke the news that a deal was officially sealed with Mpumalanga to move the place to Gauteng, they erupted in jubilation.
“The people got a clear message that they were now part of Gauteng after they were addressed by Makhura. It took us decades to get here, but people are very happy,” Mokwena said.
He said people were already upbeat about the prospects of having a shopping mall built in the area.
“There had been people who wanted to come and develop our land since 2007, but they could not put up the development because of the land transfer issue,” he said.
Despite their victory, Mokwena said people were disgruntled that Enkangala Industrial could not immediately be transferred to Gauteng because the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency was reluctant to release the entity.
However, he said Makhura had promised to engage in talks with his Mpumalanga counterpart Refilwe Mtsweni.
Another project in the pipeline would be the implementation of a mixed housing development. The project would include the building of RDP houses and handover of service stands to those who could afford to build houses.
Makhura said Enkangala was originally part of the KwaNdebele homeland. It was transferred to Mpumalanga after 1994.
“Due to the complexity of the area, all assets were then transferred from Mpumalanga, including the land. That process was finally concluded in April 2018.”
He said Gauteng could not use any of the land until a transfer process was undertaken and finalised.
In 2016, Makhura and the then Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza concluded the transfer process by signing certificates of registration for the asset transfer.
“In 2017, the documents were lodged through the office of the State Attorney at the deeds office to ensure that the names on the title deeds reflected the Gauteng province,” Makhura said.
COMMUNITY leader Bushy Mokwena in a portion of land in Enkangala, which has been transferred from Mpumalanga to Gauteng. |