Griquas in unity drive

MEMBERS of the community during the celebration of Age in Action day. Photo: Boipelo Mere
MEMBERS of the community during the celebration of Age in Action day. Photo: Boipelo Mere

THE elderly people of the Griqua Community in Gong Gong are excited by the prospect of also becoming part of the Age in Action activities.

They celebrated their community’s first Age in Action initiative, which included the registration of an organisation, ‘The Griqua People’s Heritage,’ that was officially registered as a legal entity on 6 July.

They believe they are on the right track and that the organisation will make it possible for them to take control and ownership of their own land.

According to the community, the Age in Action launch is their biggest community project thus far and the beginning of good things for them after they had been neglected as a community in previous years.

The organisation was formed after government decided to place Gong Gong under the tutelage of the Dikgatlong Municipality after the 1994 elections X a decision they were not happy with. They claim that since 2003 there had not been any development in their community.

Gong Gong is reported to be one of the richest areas in terms of diamond mining, and has thus attracted many investors.

Older people in the community say there is very little to keep them busy and they just have to sit around doing nothing.

They believe the initiative will unite the community and help it to develop and become more self-reliant.

The chairperson of the Board in Gong Gong, Thomas Chabalala, said it was concerning to see children from more or less 370 households being bussed to Barkly West everyday to attend school.

“That is because we do not have proper infrastructure here,” he added with frustration.

According to an elderly resident, Irene Mashiane (80), the Gong Gong community is divided into three locations, namely Kitsi, Kama and Arms Koppie. There is, however, no activities that can bring them together. She believes the new initiative will develop the community and that it will help keep the elderly busy.

Piet Louw (73), was born in Gong Gong and worked in Johannesburg and also in London. He retired to Gong Gong in 2015.

“I believe God will give us strength and wisdom to keep this initiative moving.

“I have not really interacted with my community since my return. But I would love to contribute towards my community,” Louw said.

A very physically fit Louw walks four kilometres to his church and is seen as an example to many in the community of how elderly people can keep fit.

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