Matat viewpoint

2017-10-27 06:00

WARM greetings to all readers of this viewpoint.

Ced-Matat race hosted with success

Matatiele Local Municipality partnered with Ced-Matat Athletics Club to host the fifth annual Ced-Matat Heritage Race last Sunday.

Starting at Lunda, in Ward 10 the marathon attracted 500 participants and had unique routes. This route covered the R56 from Lunda, via Harry Gwala Park and joined the Maluti route, which makes it one of the most unique races in the country.

Officially opened by the Portfolio Head of Economic Development and Planning, Councillor Nomonde Nkukhu, the marathon covered 21km, 10km, 5km and 1.5km distances.

Nkuku said the marathon is designed to showcase the beauty of Matatiele and attract tourists from different parts of SA, and beyond.

The race started in 2013 to reinstate the 24km race between Cedarville and Matatiele that used to take place in the early eighties. It also promotes the role of sport in developing athletics in all events i.e. road running, cross-country and track and field.

“Through this race we hope to build social cohesion, enjoy free expression and creativity both mentally and physically to human beings, especially the youth, and promote tourism in Matatiele through sport,” said Nkukhu.

The winner of this qualifier in the 21km race came from Klerksdorp, under Nedbank, finishing in 1:06. The municipality looks forward to next year’s marathon, which is aimed attracting national and international athletes.

Safety of children is a priority

The Eastern Cape Department of Transport, in partnership with Matatiele Local Municipality, hosted a road safety campaign under the Safe Kids Day umbrella in Cedarville last Friday.

Traffic law violations have proved to be prevalent in Matatiele, especially on the R56, putting children crossing it in danger.

The most prominent violations include overloading speeding, driving un-roadworthy vehicles, driving under the influence and driving unlicenced vehicles.

Focusing on pupils from in and around Ward 26, Sive Special School pupils were identified as the most vulnerable in relation to pedestrian road safety.

The rationale behind the campaign was to increase awareness, teach pupils how to cope in traffic, impart knowledge relating to road safety as well as to make Matatiele roads safer, especially as the festive season draws near.

Stakeholders included the SAPS, Department of Health, Thuthuzela Care Centre, Eskom, Department of Education and taxi associations

Pupils participated in a safety walk holding placards with messages “don’t abuse us”, “road safety is your responsibility” while flyers on road safety tips were distributed.

Department of Transport District Manager Xolisa Jakuja said they will have more such initiatives in the future to ensure that children are safe, and ensure that transport operators obey road safety rules.

“To have a safer living environment a joint effort of all stakeholders is required.”

#100Years countdown

South Africa will this year celebrate the centenary of the birth of Oliver Reginald Tambo. The Alfred Nzo District Municipality core team (Office of the Premier, GCIS and Matatiele LM) led a taxi-rank activation in Matatiele to mark the 10-day countdown to the centenary of this statesman.

Tambo was born in Nkantolo village outside Mbizana on October 27, 1917.

The centenary celebrations will take place under the theme “Life and Legacy of OR Tambo”, and will to draw lessons from his life and understand the qualities that made him succeed in uniting the ANC.

Distributing government information to the people of Matatiele, the mayor, Councillor Momelezi Mbedla, said: “Each sector of society has a role to play in ensuring that we protect and build on our freedom. It is up to this generation to ensure we defeat the scourge of poverty, inequality and unemployment.”

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