Constitutional Review Committee impressed by tolerance levels of Taung community at Public Hearings


By KEDIBONE MOLAETSI
A delegation of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee continued with the the North West Province leg of its public hearings into a possible review of section 25 of the Constitution in Taung on Tuesday.

The Committee Co-Chairperson, Vincent Smith said they have listened to a number of oral submissions from members of the public who included representatives from farmers’ associations, civic organisations, political parties, traditional leaders and ordinary citizens. Smith said: “The reflection of today’s hearing shows that the majority of the oral submissions made in Taung supported the review of the Constitution, while there were some people who were against the review of the Constitution.

Smith said: “The reflection of today’s hearing shows that the majority of the oral submissions made in Taung supported the review of the Constitution, while there were some people who were against the review of the Constitution.

Once again, the committee has underestimated the interest of the people in this matter. The committee was expecting about 300 people and there were more than 1 000 people today, which shows that South Africans are very keen to have their voices heard.”

He said the committee applauded the manner in which the people of Taung tolerated each other during the hearings. Smith said there was complete silence when others spoke against the review of the Constitution and there was no need to ask people not to interrupt a speaker. “The committee is impressed by the fact that even the arguments that were made once again show that people have applied their minds.

“The engagements were robust as expected because this is a sensitive subject but the committee is comfortable with the quality of the arguments that were presented. We hope that it carries on like this going forward,”

“The committee is impressed by the fact that even the arguments that were made once again show that people have applied their minds.

“The engagements were robust as expected because this is a sensitive subject but the committee is comfortable with the quality of the arguments that were presented. We hope that it carries on like this going forward,” Smith said.

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By KEDIBONE MOLAETSI
A delegation of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee continued with the North West Province leg of its public hearings into a possible review of section 25 of the Constitution in Taung on Monday.

The committee listened to a number of oral submissions from members of the public who included representatives from farmers’ associations, civic organisations, political parties, traditional leaders and ordinary citizens. The Committee Cop-Chairperson reflection of today’s hearings shows that the majority of the oral submissions made in Taung supported the review of the Constitution, while there were some people who were against the review of the Constitution.

The Committee Cop-Chairperson reflection of today’s hearings shows that the majority of the oral submissions made in Taung supported the review of the Constitution, while there were some people who were against the review of the Constitution.

The Co-Chairperson of the committee, Mr Vincent Smith, said: “Once again, the committee has underestimated the interest of the people in this matter. The committee was expecting about 300 people and there were more than 1 000 people today, which shows that South Africans are very keen to have their voices heard.”

The committee applauded the manner in which the people of Taung tolerated each other during today’s hearings. There was complete silence when others spoke against the review of the Constitution and there was no need to ask people not to interrupt a speaker. The committee is impressed by the fact that even the arguments that were made once again show that people have applied their minds. “The engagements are robust as expected because this is a sensitive subject but the committee is comfortable with the quality of the arguments that were presented. We hope that it carries on like this going forward,” said Mr Smith.

Public Hearing on land expropriation in Taung  


By BAKANG MOKOTO

The land expropriation without compensation has gain momentum especially among the youth. A delegation of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee will visit Taung, Mahikeng and Rustenburg to continue with its public hearings.

The decision to hold public hearings follows a mandate by the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to ascertain whether a review of Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses are necessary.

The parliament said this will make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation and propose the necessary constitutional amendments where necessary.

Co-Chairperson of the committee, Lewis Nzimande commended the large number of South Africans that attended the hearings.

“Every day at least 600 people attended our hearings. They were vibrant, yet orderly. They broke out in song and dance at time, yet they were orderly. This must be commended.

“These large numbers we saw is a reflection of the importance of land in our country. It can also be seen as positive to the trust that ordinary South Africans put in Parliament and its processes,” Nzimande said.

He also welcomed the variety of views and “quality” of inputs made by the public. Nzimande said it is clear that South Africans thought deeply about this before coming to hearings.

“The hearings are for all South Africans, irrespective of colour, political affiliation or viewpoint, who wish to have a say on expropriation of land without compensation.

“We assure the public that all views will be taken into consideration during deliberations on the matter. We want to encourage the public to attend the remainder of the hearings. The two delegations of the committee will reconvene in just over a week to restart public hearings,” Nzimande said.

He added that Team A will travel to the North West for hearings on 17 July and Team B will reconvene on 18 July in KwaZulu-Natal.

“We will be in Taung Depot Hall in Taung from 11am until 4pm on the 17th of July 2018. The delegation will now move to Mahikeng Civic Centre in Mahikeng on the 18th of July 2018 at the same time.

“We will conclude our visit in North West on the 19th of July 2018 at Rustenburg Civic Centre in Rustenburg,” Nzimande said.

ANCYL regional chairperson in Dr Ruth Mompati region, Seatlathebe Lepomane said: “We urge our people especially young people to attend those public hearings. It is imperative to bring your inputs and ensure that we get our land back.

“The land expropriation without compensation is a national issue. However, the question is that do we understand where we come from? We must also ensure that we have sufficient machinery in place to deal with this issue when it is ultimately achieved.”

Political activist from Vryburg, Orapeleng Matshidiso shared the same sentiments. Matshidiso said they cannot be apologists in the land of their fore-bearers.

“History says it is not only land which was expropriated without compensation from our people. Our fore-bearers were turned into the slaves of the settlers in their own farms or land. Settlers expropriated their human dignity. Truth is told, poverty takes away your human dignity,” Matshidiso said.

He said these unfortunate mishaps introduced cheap labour that has created the current racial inequalities and ridiculous minimum wage to our poor workers.

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Baga-Phuduhucwana, municipality takes ‘land grabbers’ to court


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Photo: (The portion of land next to Taung Sport ground illegally occupied)  

By REGINALD KANYANE

The upsurge in land invasion is a ‘matter of concern’ in Taung. This comes after more than fifty people illegally occupied a portion of land in the vicinity of Taung Sports ground for residential purposes.

Now, those ‘land grabbers’ are faced with legal ramifications after the Greater Taung Local Municipality and the Batlhaping Baga-Phuduhucwana Tribal Authority jointly launched a court interdict against them.

However, one of the land grabbers, Oratile Segosapelo said they will not demolish their shacks. Segosapelo said they have been trying to engage with the Baga-Phuduhucwana Tribal Council chief, Kgosi Tshepo Mankuroane for land allocation without any success.

“Mankuroane failed us dismally after numerous attempts to meet with him. We had a futile meeting with him on October 2017. And we are not afraid and we are happy that they took the matter to court.

“I stay at Taung Extension 6 in an RDP house. The place is overcrowded and cannot accommodate us as I stay with my children, wife and siblings. Our government continues to fail us hence we illegally occupied this portion of land,” he said.

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Photo: (Some of illegal occupants already built shacks on the portion of land)

The Re Aga Taung Civic Organisation chairperson, Disco Lebitse said: “Our current leadership at the municipality and tribal council fail our community. Those offices are marred with fraud, corruption and maladministration.

“We believe that any unoccupied land needs to be allocated to our people. As a civic organization, we will fight this legal impediment along with our people. We are sick and tired of our current leadership both at municipal level and tribal council.”

Lebitse said they also want Mankuroane being deposed from his chieftainship position. He said they will embark on a peaceful march on the 20th of July 2018, calling for Mankuroane’s removal.

“There are leaders at the council who sold land for self-enrichment. So, we will meet both municipality and tribal council in court on the 16th of August 2018. However, we are not quite sure who will represent the tribal authority as we will ensure that Mankuroane is removed from his position as the chief before then,” he said.

Lebitse said most people need land for residential purposes and refusal to do so will lead to illegal occupation and an increasingly rancorous within Taung.

However, the Greater Taung Local Municipal Manager, Katlego Gabanakgosi said this in affidavit: “During January 2018, I was approached by Kgosi, who informed me that he had been contacted by some Taung residents who wanted to be allocated land for purposes of building residential houses thereon.

“However, Kgosi advised them that the said portion of land was to be developed and has been earmarked for extending the existing local meeting/ sports ground in order to cater for a larger number of people.”

He said due to financial constraints, the progress has been at slow pace but will be speeded up from the beginning of this financial year which will be from July 2018. Gabanakgosi added that although Mankuroane explained the above situation to respondents, they nevertheless insisted that the land be given to then for residential purposes.

“The Taung Sport Ground was congested at the time when former President, Thabo Mbeki visited Taung Community and the people had to jostle in order to just have a glimpse of visiting the president.

“The unlawful occupation of land or giving oneself another person’s land without consent or authorization of the land owner, constitutes a criminal offence in terms of Section 3 Prevention of Illegal Ejectment from Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 and/ or Section 1 of the Trespass Act 6 of 1959 and is accordingly forbidden,” he said.

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Taung-based disability centre needs funding


Picture: (Boichoko Disability Centre children and staff in Rooiwal village, Taung)

By REGINALD KANYANE

Boichoko Disability Centre at Rooiwal village in Taung needs virtuous building to cater for 27 disabled children, who come from the most disadvantaged families in Taung.

The owner of the centre, Tshegofatso Jack (42) said she established the centre back in 2014. Jack said she opened the centre because she realised that there are many disadvantaged and disabled children around Taung and their parents do not know where to take them.

“Boichoko Disability Centre provides special education like sign language. However, we are doing this without any financial and professional support.

“We have approached the North West Education and Sport Development and Social Development departments for assistance, but our requests were in vain. I also have a child who is deaf and mute,” she said.

Jack said her child, Boichoko whom she named the centre after, uses sign language. She said she knows what challenges other parents in the same situation are going through.

“There is no sign language school around Taung and that is a challenge. The children at the centre pay R700 per month, but some parents cannot afford.

“I use my pocket money in most cases because some children come from deprived families. We have also received no joy from both departments,” Jack said.

She said the Social Development department has also threatened to shut down the school. Jack said she also use her house to accommodate the children.

“I urge anyone who could assist us with anything like food hampers, building materials to come forward as we are currently operating from a shack, but use my house to sleep,” Jack said.

She said nurses and doctors constantly visit the centre to ensure that the children are healthy. Jack said she has also employed 18 volunteers, who assist her at the centre, but she cannot give them any stipend because of financial constraints.

North West Social Development department spokesperson, Petrus Siko said: “First and foremost the children at this centre are receiving disability grant. As a way of intervention, our social workers had several engagements with the owners of the centre.

“Boichoko Disability Centre is nearer to Lokgabeng Disability Centre, which has enough space to admit people with disability.”

Siko said Lokgabeng Disability Centre thus comply with the norms and standards required to operate as disability centre as opposed to Boichoko. He added that equally important, Lokgabeng Disability Centre is currently being funded by the department.

“In addition, plans are afoot to establish a residential care facility in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati in the next few years.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Provincial Spokesperson on Social Development, Dr Tutu Faleni said: “We are concerned by the continued rejection of Boichoko Disability Centre for the disabled by the North West Department of Social Development.

“The management of the school has been operating the centre for four years without any assistance from the Provincial Social Development Department. This is in spite of requests made by the DA in the past that the MEC should help schools such as Boichoko Disability Centre to qualify for financial subsidy.”

Faleni said they will write an urgent memorandum to the MEC for Social Development and urge him to grant financial and professional support to the centre.

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Mokgoro: “Sports has the unique ability to heal, unite and change society”


PIC 2 Premier Mokgoro

North West Premier, Professor Job Mokgoro believes sports, football in particular, has the unique ability to heal, unite and change society for the better. Mokgoro was addressing the Maize Cup Gala Dinner which marked the beginning of the fourth edition of the annual Maize Cup tournament which is taking place this Saturday at James Motlatsi Stadium in Klerksdorp. 

The Maize Cup Gala Dinner was attended by the provincial government leadership, soccer legends as well as representatives of different soccer teams taking part, namely: Kaizer Chiefs, Buya Msuthu, Free State Stars and Chippa United.

Mokgoro said football has the ability to impact the society in a positive way.

“We have the responsibility to harness the power and appeal of the game to act as a catalyst for positive social change. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that the universal popularity and appeal of football makes it a common denominator for everyone; irrespective of gender, age, race and social standing”  he said.  

Mokgoro said the provincial government remains committed to uniting the province to ensure that the ugly scenes witnessed recently in various towns, townships and villages of this province are never seen again.  

“The Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup is one vehicle that we can use as government to reach out to the citizens of our beautiful province as a means to reduce and eventually remove the trust deficit currently evident between the people and government. Through football we can build social cohesion in the province” he said.

The pre-season tournament has managed to attract professional soccer teams with massive following in this country, making it easier for government to communicate with the people using this platform.

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Mokgareng Gospel choir ready to host Rustenburg


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Picture: (Baatlegi Ba Morena Gospel Choir ready to host Rustenburg)

By BAKANG MOKOTO

Baatlegi Ba Morena Gospel Choir chairperson, Tshidiso Moreane said they are addressing socio-economic challenges affecting the youth in around Taung through music.

Moreane established the clap and tap dance choir early this year and they have already touched many people’s lives. He said the group consists of 90 youth from various villages in Taung.

Baatlegi Ba Morena Gospel Choir advert

“We educate the youth about substance and drug abuse. There are so many socio-economic challenges affecting our youth. We have unemployment, crime, HIV and AIDS, inequality and poverty that need to be taken into consideration.

“The choir gives hope to those who are affected. The aim is to develop the youth musically and ensure that they become great future leaders especially those who love clap and tap dance music,” he said.

Moreane said many youth lost hope and spend most of their time doing nothing. He said the music keeps them busy.

“We go out and sing against other choirs especially during the weekends. We also visit hospitals, clinics and NGOs to sing for patients and health practitioners alike.

“We also receive a necessary support from parents. My father, Batkley Mokaiemang Moreane, who is the President of the choir, always gives us words of encouragement. We have learnt that with discipline, dedication and determination, we can achieve our dream,” Moreane said.

He said the understanding of gospel encourages the people to behave in ways consistent. Moreane added that gospel choir put its faith in action in the public realm.

“We will be having a gospel show at Molatlhwa shop in Mokgareng village on the 29th of July 2018. We will be hosting the Bautlwile Lentswe Gospel choir from Rustenburg.

“We want to raise funds and the entrance fee will be only R50. We urge all community members to come and support us. Tickets are already available and those who want to buy can call us on 0828050049,” he said.

Moreane said the Baatlegi Ba Morena Gospel choir members also sell tickets. He said they will be releasing an album soon as their music plays a crucial role spiritually.

“The choir also guide individuals on moral conduct. We want to be conspicuous and play an integral part in community-building. I believe that if we work together, we can achieve more and develop a better society,” Moreane said.

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