Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas, at the Siyathemba year-end celebration Kathu PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 05:04

Programme Director
Members of the Executive Council present
Executive Mayors, Mayors and councillors present
Chief Executive Office of Kumba, Mr Themba Mkhwanazi
Senior officials of Kumba
Community of Siyathemba
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen


It gives me great pleasure to join you today as we are about to bid farewell to the year but most importantly to take stock of the process that led us to this newly formed settlement. The past few years has seen the Provincial Government and Kumba Iron Ore engaging in meaningful discussion on the best possible way to relocate the community of Dingleton. This I must admit seemed like an impossible exercise at times.

 



We were especially concerned about the life changing impact that this would have on the lives of the community. The community had to prepare themselves for the relocation and had to depart from a place dear to their heart. This was an emotional journey, but one that was in the interest of both the community and Kumba. It was also not a process that could take place overnight and similarly the adjustment and integration of this area into the greater Kathu cannot happen overnight.

 


Because the element of human emotion and human beings having to move from what they knew to the relatively unknown, we expected to encounter some challenges on the way of finding a mutually beneficial solution to the proposed relocation. Patience and endurance were required by all parties involved throughout this whole process. The challenges included amongst others, putting pressure on resources of the Kathu area, delays in transfers due to various reasons, legal, construction and quality issues. The accommodation of all renters of the Dingleton community also posed various challenges for the Project.



Despite all the challenges experienced, all was fortunately not doom and gloom and today we find ourselves at this point. The resettlement resulted in the creation of job and business opportunities in areas such as landscaping and construction. The process also led to modernised houses and other facilities and the plus point is that the community is now located closer to town facilities.


Further to this, the Trust to be established for purposes of the payment of rates and taxes to make provision for the increase thereof due to the new area provides financial relief for the duration of the subsidy period for homeowners. The shanty replacement strategy and the construction of outbuildings in the form of units created income generating opportunities for homeowners.


From the side of the Provincial Government, we acknowledge that it was not an easy exercise for you to part with your homes but we wish to thank you for your willingness to do so. This might seem like a small sacrifice but your move which in turn allows for the expansion of the mine will in actual fact result in an economic contribution not only in this area but towards the country’s resources. This resettlement and expansion could not have taken place without the great sacrifice made by this community.




What is also of great importance to us, is that the community and all the stakeholders involved will continue to work together to resolve all outstanding issues and thus ensure the ultimate success of this Project and the sustainable development of this community. To the community of Siyathemba I wish to state that this is now your new home, own it be proud of it and build new positive memories that will add to the growth and prosperity of this area. Please take good care of your new homes.



You will recall that the Provincial Government made a commitment to engage Kumba Iron Ore on some financial benefit for the new homeowners. I am pleased to announce that each household will be given this financial benefit and it is anticipated that a percentage of this amount will be paid as early as this week.



As I conclude, on behalf of the Provincial Government, I wish each and every one of you a blessed Christmas and a safe and joyous festive season. This is a time for family but we should also accept and live the spirit of Ubuntu. Let this festival be filled with hope, love, peace and prosperity for each one of us. To those who would be travelling, I bid you a safe journey and remember to obey the rules of the road at all times. Be safe and Arrive Alive.


I thank you