Zwane booed as locals disrupt Mining Charter meeting

Jun 23 2017 16:17
Amanda Khoza, News24

Middelburg - The first imbizo on the Mining Charter in Mpumalanga was postponed on Friday, following disruptions by disgruntled community members.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was stopped from holding the imbizo, with the community saying that he could not continue without premier David Mabuza.

READ: Zwane 'chased away' from Mpumalanga mining indaba

Zwane later said he had been given the green light to deliver radical economic transformation and nothing would derail him from that task. 

He was due to speak at the Sydney Choma community Hall at the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality, where hundreds of community members were split into two groups-  the Practical Radical Economic Transformation group (PRETA) and the Nkangala Community and Economic Development Forum. 

The Nkangala community wanted the meeting to go ahead while PRETA insisted that the imbizo could not happen without Mabuza.

When Zwane attempted to respond to the community he was booed and interrupted by singing and chanting. 
Police swiftly intervened to keep the crowd away from Zwane.

He was then whisked away to a private room, where he addressed the media. 

Zwane said: “If there is a tradition here in Mpumalanga where the premier needs to be in attendance, then we will adhere with that because it is clear that no one is against the Mining Charter. They are saying that they want to see their premier and we are willing to wait and check his availability.” 

Zwane said coordinating issues should not deter the Mining Charter imbizos.

“If people think that the premier should be here, then we will come back. We will engage the premier and pass the message that people want him present at the imbizo.” 

Zwane said the meeting was part of the department’s Imbizo programme of taking the charter to the people.
“The wealth of this country belongs to the people of South Africa. If we gazette the Mining Charter and we stay in Pretoria, people might miss the opportunities that are in the charter.

“We want to speak to everybody and make sure that everybody benefits from the charter.” 

He said if the community could fill up the hall, then it meant all of those present were unemployed. 

“They are here because they are not working. The main aim of today was to say to them, here is the charter, participate.” 

He said the reason why the department has started in Mpumalanga was because this is a large mining area. 

“We wanted to make them feel that it is their charter, but it must also be part and parcel of those that are going to benefit from opportunities.”

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mosebenzi zwane  |  mpumalanga  |  mining charter  |  mining



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