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The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vuwani consists of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen, Premier Stan Mathabatha, Cooperative Governance‚ Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Makoma Makhurupetje, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe.

Vuwani protests cost government

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The Pro-Makhado Demarcation Task Team did not meet with the Inter-Ministerial Committee during its visit to the area last week and their Spokesperson, Arnold Mulaudzi yesterday (Wednesday) said there is nothing that will change residents’ minds.
Mulaudzi said the shutdown will continue until residents get what they want. “There is no schooling in the area. We have been oppressed for some time now and Police use apartheid tactics,” Mulaudzi stated.
The committee, made up of Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen, Premier Stan Mathabatha, Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe and Cooperative Governance‚ Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Makoma Makhurupetje, held a media briefing in Polokwane last Thurday to inform journalists about their plans to resolve the situation in Vuwani.
Makhurupetje said the committee will continue to engage with traditional leaders on any matter affecting their communities. “Provincial Government has been working with stakeholders ever since they raised this problem. We have been very consistent that the Provincial Government has no authority on demarcation issues. We got involved because whatever troubles our people also affects us.”
She added that the committee’s position on the current situation was that learners must return to class and that those being intimidated should report it to the Police. She appealed to parents to join forces with Police and Government to protect children’s future.
“We have a municipality that was duly established and must be supported to deliver quality services. This matter has been sufficiently addressed including at the level of the constitutional court. We appeal to communities to play their part in ensuring that the newly established municipality, Lim345 is discharging its responsibilities and becomes sustainable in the process,” she said.
Van Rooyen emphasised that they were able to identify most troublesome areas in Vuwani during last year’s protests and that they have been targeting the areas since the beginning of the unrest this year to stabilise the protests. Mathabatha said the Provincial Government won’t allow threats from the people of Vuwani. He further said he knows that they cannot force anyone to listen to government officials but assured protesters that Government will build on their previous experience to end the protest.
Kgetjepe said his department will only be able to assist learners catch up on their school work when they are back at school.

Story & photo: ENDY SENYATSI
>>endy@observer.co.za