let's give king a gift of peace
Greetings, dear readers! The column is back after a very long break and we owe
everyone an apology for the untimely disappearance of a part of this esteemed publication which, primarily, deals with socio-political issues without fear or favour.
Hopefully we are now in a better position to take a single position and position ourselves as Smart Partners in nation-building, in the true spirit of national dialogue as an epitome of a modern people.
For, I guess, all nations of the world have always espoused the notion of peace and prosperity, from time immemorial. Meanwhile, I would love to give you the highlights of a community meeting I attended at Ngwenya Valley (formerly known as New Skom) on the purported Malolotja farm last weekend.
The bottom line is, a very nasty confrontation is on the verge of erupting between Salgaocar and Ngwenya residents unless government promptly intervenes to avoid such a nightmarish scenario. Let us give the King the ‘gift of peace’ he always asks for from the nation and stop trampling upon the rights of his people.
So I will speak for the people living in the adjacent SNTC farm next to Malolotja. Just for the benefit of all those dealing with keeping records in meetings, I shall give a full account of what really transpired in the manner of writing minutes:
Committees’ meeting with the MP held in the Social Centre at 2pm on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
1. Opening prayer: The meeting was opened with a prayer by Mrs Mkhonta.
2. Inner Committee Chairperson’s remarks: He expressed appreciation for attending the meeting,
welcomed the MP and the two Bucopho, Mnisi and Hlophe, from Enduma and Ekupheleni respectively. He then gave the floor to the MP, Robert Magongo. The MP allowed Bucopho Hlophe to speak first.
3. Bucopho’s words: He apologised on behalf of the Motshane Inkhundla for having taken too long to visit the community. He explained that the MP’s visit serves as a consultative exercise and to give a feedback on their work as elected representatives of the people. He then requested the MP to address the gathering.
4. MP’s report: He acknowledged the presence of all those attending and mentioned that he is well aware of the problems faced by residents as a result of the dust caused by the mining company, Salgaocar, to the extent of dirtying water in the community.
He said he will do his best to address the water problem with the help of residents. He also criticised the manner the mining company was allowed to operate without taking into consideration the effects of mining or clearing the iron ore dumps. He explained that in his attempt to provide the community with clean water he has met some obstacles arising from the status of the place because residents are regarded as squatters, not worthy to be assisted with developmental projects, by Malolotja. Hence, the people from Mlondozi and Ka-Mbane could not build a school and have no access to electricity supply, because Malolotja refused. However, he assured the community that as the MP he will fight for the people on the farm, and have them accepted as lawfully living in the place (in fact, everybody deserves basic amenities like clean water, wherever they live). The MP felt that Salgaocar is frustrating the communities including business. PeterStow manufacturing might end up closing down, pack up and go away because of the dust coming from the mining company. Everyone fully concurred with the MP’s observation and concern.
5. Comments and questions: One speaker wanted to know what the Constitution says about the rights and privileges of people, those living on farms in particular. ‘My father and forefathers were born and grew up in this place but we are now told that we are living on Malolotja farm. Malolotja is treating us worse than the animals on the farm and, worse, these animals eat our crops’, exclaimed an angry participant. The MP said the Constitution must be respected and legal opinion is needed in this matter. The people commended him for working hard and attending to the community’s concerns, together with the Bucopho. "Actually, we are one united family on the farm, more especially because we face similar problems and we have some goals. We hope Bucopho will help us on capacity building in terms of development, in spite of the problems we face," pleaded a member of the development committee.
6. Formation of task team: The MP appreciated the spirit of unity among the residents and requested that a committee must be formed to work with him strictly on ‘inhlalo yetfu’.
7. Closing prayer: The meeting was closed with a prayer by Mr Nyoni at 3:45pm.
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