Media release

Government committed to peace in Vhembe District

13 May 2016

13 May 2016

Government, stakeholders and communities across the Vhembe District District Municipality are hard at work and leaving no stone unturned to find a lasting solution to the challenges being experienced in the Vuwani area.

In the wake of the recent judgement of the Limpopo High Court to uphold the recommendation of the Municipal Demarcation Board to establish a new municipal entity in the Vhembe District Municipality. The Interministerial Task Team led by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen and including the Minister of State Security and Deputy Minister of Police supported by the Basic Education and Communications Ministers, working with the Premier of Limpopo and MECs, as well as leadership of the Vhembe District Municipality, has made firm progress in realising the mandate to engage with all effected stakeholders and partners on this serious matter.

Progress has been made and a programme for the next few days to intensify discussions has been developed.  Following dialogues held in Tshikonelo and Davhana, the Minister Van Rooyen met with the Mulenzhe Community today, 13 May 2016 to discuss the matter of the establishment of a new municipality entity.

Speaking following his engagement with the Mulenzhe Community, Minister Van Rooyen reiterated that any form of violence or the destruction of property remain condemned in the strongest terms possible. 

Firm action will be taken against anyone who breaks the law or who protests outside the norms of responsible, democratic protest.  Minister Van Rooyen indicated that while SAPS will remain highly visible, the situation in the affected communities is currently stable and remains calm.  “Government will continue to engage to find a lasting solution.  We urge the people of Vuwani to participate in the process of finding a lasting solution and for things to return to normal”, said Van Rooyen.

The Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi is hosting an Imbizo with residents of the Makuleke Community focusing on Digital Migration and the processes communities need to follow to register to receive a Set Top Box. 

“No lasting solution to the deep divisions in this community can happen without open dialogue and hard work between different parties to find a workable solution.  Such efforts need the commitment and spirit of a winning attitude which so well defines South Africans who have a rich history of conflict resolution to build on”, said Minister Muthambi on the fringes of the Makuleke Digital Migration Imbizo. 

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga will be having an Education Dialogue with leaders of the Education Sectors in this area as part of ongoing efforts to get learners in Vuwani back to school.  The dialogue also including the MEC for Education in Limpopo, MEC Kgetepe, will lay the foundation for a wider stakeholder dialogue planned to take place with the education sector and the education community in the Greater Vhembe District.

In this vein government welcomes and endorses the call by the South African Council of Churches for a national day of prayer for peace and national building which is to take place on Saturday, 14th May at the Christian Worship Centre (CWC) at Mashau in Makhado Municipality.  It encourages all communities and leaders to take up this opportunity to find a peaceful manner to resolve the challenges faced.

Legadima Leso (Head of Communications, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs)
Cell: 083 378 9495

Issued by Government Communication and Information System

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