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Ramaphosa sets up task team to attend to frustrations raised by Khoi-San leaders

The team, to be chaired by deputy president David Mabuza, will endeavour to address issues raised over the years to advance development in their respective communities

President Cyril Ramaphosa has established an inter-ministerial task team to comprehensively respond to issues raised by traditional and Khoi-San leaders. It will be chaired by his deputy, David Mabuza.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has established an inter-ministerial task team to comprehensively respond to issues raised by traditional and Khoi-San leaders. It will be chaired by his deputy, David Mabuza.
Image: Freddy Mavunda\File

President Cyril Ramaphosa has established an interministerial task team to respond comprehensively to issues raised by traditional and Khoi-San leaders. 

The team, to be chaired by deputy president David Mabuza, will endeavour to address issues raised over the years to advance development in their respective communities.  

Issues to be tackled by the team include:

  • resolving the land question;
  • investment in rural development;
  • access to water and sanitation;
  • turning significant places into heritage sites for the promotion of tourism in traditional communities; and
  • access to information, communication and technology.

“While we concede that some of the issues you have raised have taken long to deal with and resolve, we reaffirm government’s commitment to prioritising these issues for quick resolution.

“At the apex of government, we can assure you that the commitment is unwavering. We are confident that the process we have chosen will bear fruit. That is why we appeal to all sections of this institution to afford the unfolding process space and opportunity to work on the issues at hand,” said Mabuza. 

He was speaking at the annual opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in Cape Town.

Mabuza’s meeting with traditional leaders last month in Polokwane turned sour as they expressed dissatisfaction over unkept promises by the ANC.  

Chairperson of the house Nkosikazi Mhlauli echoed similar sentiments after Mabuza’s address on Thursday saying, “If we were implementing what we have been talking about [over the years], we would have been far now. Let’s walk the talk now, we have been talking and talking. Let’s join hands and implement whatever we have been talking about.”

Mabuza said the government hoped that traditional and Khoi-San leaders would stand up and fight all that divides the people of SA. 

“We should work together as partners in efforts of building a united SA. Such a fight must also be directed at the cancer of racism, tribalism and regionalism that is rearing its ugly head.”   

Mabuza said the country was grappling with a high rate of unemployment and deepening inequality compounded by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our healthcare system proved its resilience and it ensured that we are able togo back and embark on a path to recovery. Though the number of infections and fatalities has declined, the fight against Covid-19 is not yet over as the threat of its resurgence still remains.

“We have no doubt that with the economic recovery and reconstruction measures that government is implementing, these challenges will ultimately be overcome,” he said.

The task team, comprising the ministers of co-operative governance and traditional affairs; agriculture, land reform, and rural development; public works and infrastructure; police; mineral resources and energy; finance; health; sport, arts and culture; and justice  will use available instruments, including the district development model, as an appropriate implementation tool for investment in rural areas, Mabuza said.

“We believe that each of our communities has a unique set of endowments which, if unlocked, can lead to sustainable and shared growth for those communities. With a unified sense of purpose and direction, we stand a better chance to make a positive impact on the lives of our people in traditional communities.”

The house will debate Mabuza’s speech next month. — TimesLIVE


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