Cabinet welcomes President's intervention in Vuwani

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pretoria – Cabinet has welcomed the intervention by President Jacob Zuma in Vuwani, Limpopo, which has seen the re-opening of schools and business operations returning to normal. 

President Zuma met with King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana of Vhavenda and other community stakeholders on Sunday to find solutions to issues surrounding municipal demarcation. 

Residents in the area had been protesting for a number of weeks demanding that the area be reincorporated into the Makhado Municipality. At Sunday’s meeting, the King’s proposal that the Vhembe District Municipality should provide services to the people of Vuwani was accepted, while a lasting solution on the demarcation issue is being sought. 

It was further decided that relevant national and provincial government departments should provide support to the district municipality to carry out this new mandate. 

“Cabinet commends the stakeholders for enforcing the implementation of the agreements brokered by the King. The President has committed to return to the community of Vuwani to interact with the community on a date still to be finalised with his Majesty King Yoni Mphephu Ramabulana and all the relevant stakeholders in the area,” Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said during a post Cabinet media briefing on Thursday. 

The meeting on Sunday, however, emphasised that the temporary agreement does not mean that the new municipality (LIM 345) is being disestablished. 

Minister Dlodlo said the agreement is part of government’s commitment to finding an inclusive solution. 

She said government has been hard at work to undo the old apartheid spatial frameworks. 

“We would like to see more inclusive communities. We have spoken with the people of Vuwani and there has been agreement. We have not [told] them what… they wish for is going to happen but we have put in place a contingency in plan [so] that services… are delivered by the district to all municipalities under its jurisdiction,” Minister Dlodlo said. 

Cabinet has also appealed to parents and the community to support the departmental interventions to ensure that learners are back in class and focus on learning and catching up through the established programmes. 

Violent protests 

Cabinet urged communities to refrain from violence, intimidation and looting when they raise their concerns.

“The violence and acts of looting and the destruction of business properties that took place recently in Coligny, Eldorado Park and Ennerdale is strongly condemned by Cabinet. 

“Cabinet calls on communities to raise their concerns in a manner that seeks solutions without necessarily destroying public property or infringing on the rights of other members of society,” said Minister Dlodlo. 

Cabinet also urged all stakeholders to engage with the view to speedily resolving the disputes in Ennerdale, Eldorado Park and Coligny. 

During the State of the Nation Address in 2015, President Zuma called on the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster to deal decisively with violent and destructive protest. 

“Cabinet reiterates this call that those who break the law, will face the full might of the law,” said Minister Dlodlo. –