Mayor makes 'cordial' visit to Kleinfontein

2013-05-29 22:42
A bust of former president Hendrik Verwoerd is seen in Kleinfontein (File: Sapa)

A bust of former president Hendrik Verwoerd is seen in Kleinfontein (File: Sapa)

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Kleinfontein community denies racism

2013-05-24 09:04

Residents of Kleinfontein, a closed community outside Pretoria, insist their community is not based on racial exclusion. Watch.WATCH

Pretoria - Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa visited the controversial Afrikaners-only community of Kleinfontein outside Rayton, east of Pretoria on Wednesday, an official said.

He was on a fact-finding mission to the settlement and was accompanied by members of the mayoral committee, said spokesperson Blessing Manale.

Describing the visit as cordial, he said the mayoral entourage had spoken to the Kleinfontein controlling body about, among other things, the legality of the settlement and its compliance with town planning systems.

"There has been various, long-dragging discussions between development control and building control regarding the issues of land use and building contraventions, with no finality, as the settlement passes for a farm with residential settlements," said Manale.

"This extension of goodwill by the Tshwane administration is also meant to discuss amicable remedies for this organised community’s apparent non-compliance with certain planning and housing regulations and other by-laws," he said.

Manale said the mayor urged minority groups to avoid self-exclusion and to participate in the rebuilding of a capital city apposite for every South African.

During the talks, a plan involving continuous bilateral dialogue was agreed to, and it was decided to set up a technical task team to analyse the settlement's developmental planning problems, with the intention of formalising it into a township.

Other issues pertaining to the settlement would be discussed at a Tshwane council meeting on Thursday.

Last week, the Democratic Alliance Youth protested outside Kleinfontein's gates. The property covers almost 800 hectares. DA Youth leader Mbali Ntuli and a few others entered the area to speak to Kleinfontein leaders.

"We want to show you what South Africa looks like. We achieve nothing by creating secluded areas," she said at the time.

Kleinfontein controlling body chairman Jan Groenewald insisted in a debate with the DA on Thursday that the criteria for its residents were not based on race.

Inhabitants of the settlement, which had existed for 21 years but only came under the media's spotlight this week, merely wanted to live out their values in seclusion, he said.

This included providing themselves with their own "municipal" services.

"The people that have free access to Kleinfontein, who can apply, are Afrikaner," Groenewald told reporters.

"[They] are basically people who associate themselves with our Voortrekker history, the Blood River Covenant, and all these historical facts relating to our struggle for independence for the Afrikaner people."

The criteria to live in Kleinfontein were "based on cultural, language, traditional, and religious beliefs".

"You cannot use race as a base to determine anything," he said.

Read more on:    da youth  |  kgosientso ramokgopa  |  culture

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