The Middelburg Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) would like to thank all the parties that worked amicably together for Steve Tshwete Municipality’s (STLM) survival through the civil unrest and unlawful strikes.
It has been a trying year for the citizens of Middelburg; between the illegal strikes, load-shedding and the increase in lawlessness so staying positive was becoming very difficult. MCCI’s journey during this trying time was fascinating. First, we tried to communicate with the newly elected ANC Mayoral committee and SALGA with no results. We eventually met with the Mayoral Committee in March 2022, and after that meeting, the municipal situation deteriorated.
MCCI then met with the opposition parties of the Steve Tshwete Council, urging them to work together to benefit the town. In the meantime, our town infrastructure was damaged either through lack of maintenance or wanton, malicious damage. Seeing locked entrances when you want to keep your business sustainable is demoralising. The agreement between the citizens and municipal employees seemed to have broken down completely.
Thank you to Andre Brandmuller from Brandmullers Attorneys for being willing to brandish the big stick to try and get the municipality working. MCCI has congratulated Andre for winning the case against the STLM employees, the STLM and the Middelburg Police.
Thank you to the STLM Councillors for standing together when needed.
Thank you to the Middelburg Council of Churches, town elders and organised business that selflessly gave their time, sometimes twice weekly, to find a mediated resolution for the strike. Without the collective support of all, our town would not be recovering so fast.
Thank you to the businesses that continued to operate and looked at ways to grow their local businesses or attract investments into Middelburg.
As a solution to safeguard our town’s future, we propose the re-establishment of the Middelburg Peace Forum (the name to be finalised.) Through open and honest discussion, we can and will rebuild our town.