The IFP has dismissed today's
high-profile visit of three MECs, complete with entertainers and
music, to the troubled communities around Ndumo Game Reserve as
an attempt to deflect attention from the provincial government's
equal failure in redistributing land and conserving the
MECs Mike Mabuyakhulu (Local
Governerment), Bheki Cele (Transport) and Mtholephi Mthimkhulu
(Agriculture) are visiting Maputaland amid the boiling
discontent of the local Mbangweni and Bhekabantu communities
with the pace of land reform as well as the deteriorating state
of the Ndumo Game Reserve.
"The troubled communities around Ndumo
Game Reserve want land. Instead, they are getting music and
vague promises of future development from the politicians who
failed them in the first place," said IFP Umkhanyakude District
Chairperson Alfred Mpontshane.
In particular, the IFP is questioning
the rationale behind MEC Mabuyakhulu's participation in the
government task team which deliberately excludes representatives
of IFP-run local government.
"MEC Mabuyakhulu has a proven record of
promoting local development without involving stakeholders from
the local government if these happen to be affiliated to
political parties other than the ANC," said Mpontshane.
The IFP maintains that since it took
power in 2004 the ANC-led provincial government has failed to
find a balance between land reform and environmental
"Through endless procrastination and a
lack of direction, the government has simultaneously managed to
further impoverish aspiring farmers as well as degrade the
environment," said Mpontshane.
The only way out of the mess the ANC
knows, the IFP contends, is to try and deflect the public
attention from the crisis.
"As usual, the MECs are rushing to a
disgruntled community with a band of musicians to wage an
election campaign at the taxpayers' expense," said Mpontshane.
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