Mpumalanga MEC’S assess situation in Balfour in Dipaleseng
10 Feb 2010
A delegation of MEC’s has visited the Dipaleseng Local Municipality. The delegation was led by The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Norman Mokoena and it included the MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Ms Sibongile Manana, the MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Jabu Mahlangu and the MEC for Culture, Sports and Recreation, Mr Vusi Shongwe. The aim of the visit by the MEC was to assess the situation after the recent unrest in the area.
After the visit the MEC’s have condemned the unwarranted violence, malicious destruction of property and attack on foreign nationals. He further strongly condemned the disruption of schooling by the protestors and appealed for calm in the area. “No matter what the grievances are, the attack of foreign nationals and the disruption of schools will not be tolerated. President Jacob Zuma has made a call that there should be effective teaching and learning in all schools and therefore anyone found to be disrupting schools will be arrested. All students must return to school and we call upon the law enforcement agents to apprehend those criminal elements that seek to bring disorder to the community,” said MEC Mokoena.
MEC Mokoena also called upon the community not be misled that nothing was done to address the issues that they had raised and that this is what the unrests are about and yet people are positioning themselves for the 2011 local government elections. A task team was set up to deal with these issues. This task team includes representatives from the national and provincial government, the municipality and some of the community leaders. Significant progress has been made in dealing with a number of the issues raised by the community. “As we make progress on issues raised some elements are shifting goal post and that will not be allowed,” said Mokoena.
Some of the issues raised in the memorandum submitted by the community, dated 8 July 2009 were around education, social and economic infrastructure, service delivery, housing, youth, crime, policies governing recruitment, public and private sector contributing to youth development and health. Some of the achievements that have been made on these issues include the Department of Home Affairs extending its services from two days a week to five days at the Thusong Service Centre; the provincial government has appointed a contractor who has completed 300 of the 340 incomplete houses and a further allocation of 100 housing units has been given to the municipality with a possibility to increase the allocation in the next financial year to assist it deal with the housing shortages, a skills development summit was held where an interim youth council was appointed and a youth development strategy was developed, a youth centre will be included in the 2010/11 integrated development plan process, government is exploring the feasibility of establishing an Further Education and Training (FET) college and the provincial government has taken a decision to build a university in the province, a recruitment policy is in place and it is more biased towards local residents, there is a 24 hour clinic that is under construction in Greylingstad and the MEC’s of Health in Mpumalanga and Gauteng have signed an agreement that allows the Siyathemba community to make use of the public hospital in Heidelberg Gauteng. Burnstone Gold Mine has employed 90 people from the Siyathemba Township and others from the neighbouring towns. The mine is also currently offering maths and science classes for Grade 10 to 12 respectively as part of ensuring that the schooling system is able to respond to the labour market.
“It’s unfortunate that the community library has been destroyed when the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation had made an amount of R200 000 available to equip it with computer and internet facilities and yet significant progress has been made in addressing the issues they raised with government. Can you say these actions are in the best interest of the school children and the community? We urge community leaders to exercise restraint and ensure that the situation is normalised and property is protected,” said Mokoena.
Cell: 082 413 3931
Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mpumalanga Provincial Government
10 February 2010
Source: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mpumalanga Provincial Government (http://cgta.mpg.gov.za/)
Issued by: Mpumalanga Provincial Government
10 Feb 2010
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