Matat Viewpoint

2017-11-03 06:00

WARM greetings to all readers of this viewpoint.

MEC Xasa engages traditional leaders

ON Tuesday the MEC for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in the Eastern Cape, Fikile Xasa, met with traditional Leaders in Matatiele, Maluti region at the Matatiele Town Hall.

Joined by the Alfred Nzo District and Matatiele Local Municipality’s leadership and sector departments, the purpose was to discuss traditional leadership and governance as well broader service delivery challenges in the area.

Addressing traditional leaders, Xasa stated: “It is important as this government to promote public participation, it is also our responsibility to improve our infrastructure and provide services to our people.”

He explained that ulwaluko (traditional initiation) is an issue for the country and the nation. For this reason, government gets involved in the practice of the customs “only to save the lives of initiates”.

The MEC was responding to a request by members of the Matatiele Maluti Initiation Practitioners to suspend the Act in the Matatiele and Mount Fletcher until 2019. Chiefs argued that their plan for the initiation seasons was in place and intensive by the time the act was passed in November last year.

“We have noted the concerns raised by members of the Initiation Practitioners. The Act has led to the reduction of the number of deaths and injuries of abakhwetha in the last winter season hence we cannot suspend it anywhere in the province, including in Matatiele,” said Xasa.

Government encourages members of the MMIP to work with traditional initiation forums to find a solution to their challenges.

“Government is ready to be advised and guided on matters pertaining to safe initiation,” he said.

Xasa encouraged royal families to work hard to strengthen and stabilise traditional leadership institutions in the province to resolve the existing and remaining traditional leadership disputes.

“Traditional leaders must protect their institution from being a money-making institution. The claims and disputes continue to tarnish the image and undermine the dignity of the institution.”

The MEC also called on traditional leaders to work towards eradicating tribalism, and build one South African nation based on the values of a united, non-racial, democratic and non-sexist South Africa.

He said South Africa is a unitary state and the boundaries that divide provinces are just soft boundaries. He was responding to the issue of demarcation.

Xasa said government is building a new South Africa nation and quality services should be provided equitably to all communities, regardless of the province they reside in. The issue of boundaries has the potential to destabilise communities hence it must be handled with care, said Xasa.

Road Accident Fund on the road

The Road Accident Fund is a public entity of government and its mandate is to compensate victims of motor vehicle accidents as well as ensure road safety.

On Friday November 3, the Road Accident Fund will bring their services to the community of Matatiele and surrounding areas through its flagship called “RAF on the Road”. During this outreach, people who were involved in motor vehicle accident will be able to check if they qualify to lodge new claims, make inquiries on their existing claims, get medical undertakings, check how much was paid by RAF as well get the opportunity to interact with the Road Accident Fund regarding other relevant issues.

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