They say they cannot allow a situation where the office of DD Mabuza is ‘disrespected’.
The group called Practical Radical Economic Transformation or just PRET says the worst thing that a cabinet minister can do when visiting Mpumalanga is to not inform the office of Premier David Mabuza.
“Even the President informs the office of the Premier when he comes to Mpumalanga, what more with a Minister?” PRET secretary Sunday Mathebula said over the phone.
“We don’t have anything personal against the Minister but we just say that he must follow protocols and invite the provincial government to his community consultation,” Mathebula said.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was at the Sydney Choma community hall in Middelburg on Friday morning to discuss with the community members the recently launched Mining Charter, which wants the percentage of black ownership in mines to go up by 30% but Zwane had to be whisked away when the meeting began to degenerate into chaos .
“You cannot come to another man’s yard and do as you please,” shouted Mathebebula at Zwane as people began shouting and booing the minister.
Mathebula told the 013NEWS reporter that the reason they brought the meeting to a halt was because they felt Zwane was “disrespecting” Mabuza’s office.
“Our concern is that the provincial government of Mpumalanga was not properly consulted. It’s not about the Premier but his office.
“Both Zwane and Mabuza work for the same government, so why not consult Mabuza when you come to his territory?” he asked.
PRET was launched in March 2017 as an organisation fighting unemployment and giving poor people the access to economic empowerment through engaging big corporates.
At its launch occurring over two days at the Witbank Dam on 11 and 12 March 2017, businessman Masofa Sgudla was elected its president, Mathebula elected secretary and Peter Makua elected treasurer as well as 30 additional members, 5 from each of the six Nkangala sub-regions.
Mabuza, Nkangala ANC leader Speedy Mashilo and eMalahleni mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali came to bless the launch with their presence, with Mabuza telling those who attended they are doing the right thing “for organising yourselves and fight poverty together. I’ll assist you,” he said while on stage.
A CIPC enterprise enquiry into PRET reveals that it was registered as a non-profit company on 11 May 2017 with three directors namely Themba (Masofa) Sgudla, Sunday Mathebula and one Ian Ross Dunn. Both its registered and postal addresses are domiciled in Mbombela.
Mathebula said in the future Zwane must come with Mabuza or “someone deployed by Mabuza to represent the provincial government, not this nonsense”.
“We are not going to rush for nonsense. Our government was undermined and we had to avail ourselves and say ‘whoa, wait’,” he said.
He added that as PRET they support the new Mining Charter but there are few sentences in it which they want the minister to “clarify”.
“We will have a meeting with the minister, we won’t tell you which are those sentences because you are media and we don’t discuss through media but in meetings,” Mathebula said.
The new Mining Charter was gazetted two weeks ago.
The Chamber of Mines has rejected the new Mining Charter, saying that they were not consulted and have approached the courts to stop its implementation.
But Zwane said those who were against the Mining Charter didn’t want to see “the progressive South Africa we want to build” and wanted to see “black people like slaves”.
“Nobody amongst all these people who are saying charter this, charter that, disputes the fact that there is still serious inequality in South Africa between the majority of the people who happen to be black, and the minority of business people who happen to be white,” Zwane said.
(edited by MLM)
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