Battle for ‘credits’ as Gwede Mantashe opens clinic in Nkangala

Battle for 'credits' as Gwede Mantashe opens clinic in Nkangala
CREDIT: Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe opened a clinic built by Seriti Resources in Middelburg on Friday 18 June 2021. PICTURE Supplied

The minister said infrastructure delivered belongs to people and not individuals.

Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe opened a community clinic in Middelburg last Friday, commenting that this didn’t mean he was taking Nkangala mayor Sarah Masilela’s “credits” after Masilela said so before.

Mantashe opened the R34 million clinic built by mining giant Seriti Resources in Rockdale.

Masilela didn’t attend the event, instead sending speaker Lucky Ndinisa to represent her at the high-profile event attended by Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, health MEC Sasekani Manzini, acting director-general Peter Nyoni, Middelburg mayor Dipale Motsepe, mineral resources departmental director Thabo Mokoena and Seriti boss Mike Teke.

Mantashe said they are always guided by the Mining Charter which provides for Social and Labour Plan, which says mining companies should invest and develop the communities where they operate.

“When we started this clinic project [asking Seriti to build the clinic] the mayor revolted and said we want to take her credits. The reality is we already have credits, because the Mining Charter is our credit and we don’t look for more,” the minister said in Middelburg.

Mantashe said he once advised eMalahleni mayor Linah Malatjie to visit the mines in the area and make relationship with the companies so that they assist the struggling municipality.

“If we make that impact the people are going to see minerals in their areas as benefiting them,” said Mantashe.

“So some people are allergic to this type of approach because they feel that the department of mineral resources is coming here to steal their credit for their work, that’s a distortion. If we have the Social Labour Plan, let’s mix that with the resources in the municipalities and the province to make a maximum impact for our people,” said Mantashe.

“So the work done by the Mining Charter is for the people, not for government or the mines,” he said.

The Nkangala district didn’t answer questions concerning Mantashe’s comments on the mayor.

Premier Mtshweni-Tsipane said her government was happy to receive the clinic.

She said the clinic will have a pharmacy, maternity section, dentistry and a separate TB section.

“This clinic will be providing services to plus minus 8000 community members around this area and its surroundings. So the burdens on our hospital will be reduced,” she said.

(edited by ZK)
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