She said the people of the area have genuine concerns and there was no way they would not want to hear her.
Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni says an incident of her addressing people using a police nyala and not addressing at a stadium has now been misunderstood to mean that she was chased away.
Mtsweni returned to the area this week following a stand-off with residents a week ago and said what really happened last week was not people chasing her out of the area but a matter of misunderstanding.
“What transpired on that day was that the majority of people had genuine concerns and they were willing to listen to us and we have addressed some of those community members already and when we got to the second stop our plan was that we would go to the stadium.
“But the people said to us, ‘please, can you address us here because we don’t want to go to the stadium but unfortunately we did not have the sound systems and that is why we had to rely on the police inyala which has now been misconstrued as me being hackled away of this,” Mtsweni said when she spoke to journalists on the sidelines of her meeting with the community on Tuesday this week.
She said they have now resolved the issue and have given the contractors a maximum period of three weeks to fix the people’s homes “and if they are late we said let it be four weeks”.
She said it was their duty as government leaders to address the issues of the people on the ground “because they are the ones who are government”.
People in the area wants government to fix their homes that were badly damaged when a hailstorm hit the Mbombela township in May 2018.
They were complaining of the slow pace government was taking in fixing the homes.
Since Monday last week roads have been blockaded with burning tyres and rocks, a local shopping complex vandalised and shops looted, with schooling disrupted.
Over 2000 homes were affected by the hailstorm.
The Premier said there is also another project by national government to remove asbestos roofing.
“As you know the national government is trying do away with asbestos, some of these houses need to be part of that because some have asbestos roofing,” she said.
(edited by MLM)
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