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    Friday the 19th at Tshiame –Maluti A Phofung Operation Hlasela 180 Days Program commenced with a stern vision to advocate for skills development and empower residents to be innovative as stated in the National Development Plan 2030. The Acting Executive Mayor Cllr Mlungisi Mavuso accompanied by Members of Mayoral Committee, Councillors, and local stakeholders met with the residents of Tshiame A, B and C to educate the community about opportunities of Maluti A Phofung Special Economic Zone.

    The core drive of the meeting was to enlighten the community on the development pertaining the multimillion project of Special Economic Zone that was launched by President Jacob Zuma in April last year. In pursuit of radical economic transformation SEZ Project Manager Mr Katleho Nakedi elaborated in depth on the various sectors of which the central focus was to address challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality to move Maluti A Phofung forward and unlock the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives and township enterprises.

    During the community engagement the Acting Executive Mayor acknowledged the significance of SEZ on how it is intended to advance and transform the community of MAP more especially Harrismith the anchor of economy and further unpacked the standard procedures of recruitment around the three areas. “Re tlile kwano mona hotla etsa bonnete ba hore re kopana le baahi ele hoba beha leseding ka tswelopele le tlhakisetso mabapi le mesebetsi e tlong ho thehwa ke SEZ le hoba hlalosetsa mekgwa e tlang ho sebediswa nakong eo ho tlabeng ho hirwa ka yona, mme retlo leka ka matla ho etsa bonnete ba hore baahi ba mona ke bona ba fumantshwang monyetla wa pele; ntse re etse hlooko hore SEZ hase ya baahi ba mona Tshiame feela empa ba MAP ka kakaretso” elaborated Mlungisi Mavuso. He further refined the recruitment criteria and discouraged the stigma that people are employed through favours. “This thing of preferential treatment that certain people received because of their political status must stop, this project is for the community of this area regardless of their political status let alone the governing party. We came on local government capacity to represent the municipality mandated to work in order to serve the public”, said the Acting Executive Mayor. Having said that it is the municipality’s vision to radically transform the lives of the people for the better; Cllr Tumelo Thebe (Ward 22 councillor), shared the fundamental role of engaging with community from time to time in meetings, “this meeting is designed to foster unity, renewal and jobs amongst our community. It is an indication that Maluti A Phofung is in best practice of Batho Pele Principles whereby on redress it stipulates that if the promised standard of service is not delivered, citizens should be offered an apology, a full explanation and a speedy and effective remedy; and when complaints are made, citizens should receive a sympathetic, positive response.

    Mphikeleli Mabanga was amongst the participants and expressed “re kgotsofetse haele mona majoro atlile hotla koapana le rona leho mamela dillo tsa rona, leho manolla tse ding tsa ditletlebo tsa rona rele baahi”.

    By: Masilo Malakwane