Heritage Day Celebration
The month of September has been marked as a Heritage month in South Africa. Heritage Day recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of our nation. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. On 21 September 2018 The Merafong City Local Municipality together with Khutsong Libraries held a heritage celebration where the community members of merafong gathered together at the Khutsong community hall to celebrate and learn about different tribes. The event started with a word of prayer which is a norm for Africans. Karabo Ratshwene from the Department of Sports Recreation Arts and Culture and Heritage (SRACH) welcomed everyone and told the community to rejoice and celebrate. A library assistant, Douglas Motsepe said the important element as far as the South African cultural and heritage institutions are concerned is that, as centres of wisdom or reservoirs of knowledge, they should be accessible to all.
They should be among the best when it comes to the promotion of indigenous language. Research all over the world has proved that where learning is conducted in one’s mother tongue there is significant progress than where the colonial language is used. When community members visit libraries, galleries, heritage sites and cultural villages, they should be able to engage and understand the work in their own language. It should not only be for adherence to the language policy but with a deeper understanding that the community members are the important stakeholders. There was a group of grannies from Tshirangwana Choir who entertained the crowd with their choral songs. The leader of the choir, Bertha Legoete thanked the municipality for such a platform to embrace their cultures and teach the youth about different cultural heritage of South Africa. During the programme there were performances by members of the community, people were dancing and one of the community members Ogodiseng Force who is a Tswana poet delivered a poem on drug abuse. Later on, the community was served with traditional food and drinks as part of the celebration.It was a joyous day for the community of Merafong.
Wellness Day 2018
Wellness Day 2018 Wellness day is a day celebrated by municipal employees, as a mechanism strategy to unite all the employees by having a fun day. 2018 was no different year as the employees assembled at the municipality’s head office. Executive Mayor, Cllr Maphefo Mogale Letsie together with the Municipal Manager Morakane Mokoena welcomed all the employees and thanked them for attending such an event. Cllr Mogale Letsie encouraged employees to take this opportunity in creating good relations amongst themselves.
She further assured the employees that wellness day is an even that will be celebrated every year and also encouraged employees to participate in all the activities and enjoy the opportunity granted to them. “Moving forward take care of your health so you may continue to work for our municipality for the upcoming years.’’ Concluded the Executive Mayor The first activity of the day was aerobics, employees together with some managers joined in the exercise. They seemed to have enjoyed themselves while others had it rough. While the exercise was in progress some men were playing finger pool and competing amongst themselves. The women also engaged in a friendly netball match, it was evident that they are netball players as they played with experience and enthusiasm. One of the players Masechaba Kgarejane commented by saying “as much as this match is fun it is really tough, the players are well trained’’. The soccer match was no different from the netball match, as the team played their hearts out. The teams and individuals that won were awarded with trophies. Amongst other institutions that were part of this day were: • Different Banking Institutions • Bonitas • Gauteng Department of Health • Old Mutual The employees and senior management were happy with the services rendered by the institutions.
Rapid Land Release Programme
The municipality’s Section: Human Settlement launched the Rapid Land Release programme on 31 September 2018 at the Elijah Barhayi site. Community members from Khutsong were invited to witness the launch. Human Settlement manager Lemmie Jofile briefed the community about what the programme entails. In his briefing, he indicated that the community members that will benefit from the housing project are those that have been affected by the sinkhole formations. Seventeen title deeds were issued and one of the beneficiaries was Ms Evodia Letsoara who was happy to have received her title deed. More title deeds will be issued in future as soon as the project is complete.
2018 Arbor Day 2018
Arbor Day celebrated in Greenspark the community of Greenspark came in numbers on 14 September at their community hall, to celebrate Arbor Day with the municipality as this year’s theme was “Forest and Sustainable Cities”. Every year Arbor week is celebrated from the 1-7 September and every year two indigenous trees get selected to be celebrated. The two that have been selected for this year are the Shepherd tree (Boscia albitrunca) and the Yellowwood tree (Podocarpus latifolius). Stakeholders that where present on the day to give support to both the municipality and the community, were the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF), Gauteng Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (GDARD) , South African Police Services (SAPS). Greenspark’s Ward Councillor, Cllr JDW Zwart welcomed everyone that attended the event. In her speech, the municipality’s Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Integrated Waste Management, Cllr M Lephuting indicated that Arbor day is about the planting of trees, and that it was very important in our communities to keep them safe and take care of them in our surroundings as they provide shade and oxygen for us to breathe. Cllr Lephuting further said that without trees it would be a struggle for us to breath in this atmosphere. More trees were then planted around the area.
Learners from Greenspark Primary School also entertained the crowd by performing an African dance. The DAFF senior forester, Itumeleng Monei educated the audience about the importance of having trees in our surroundings and further explained the background and history of Arbor Day. A second session commenced to the Greenspark Library to plant the trees and the official launch of the newly planted trees was made by the Executive Mayor Maphefo Magale Letsie and his entourage then everyone that attended went on to do a clean up around the community hall area and it was a success putting a smile in the people’s faces seeing the improvements in their area. The library was then chosen as the centre to represent the symbolic planting of Arbor Day.
ICareWeCare Community Dialogue
On the 13th of September 2018, the Municipality partnered with the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) and the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure to conduct the iCareWeCare Community Dialogue, whereby the officials from the MRM and the community members were discussing circumstances that have an impact on behavioural issues. The programme was held at Khutsong Stadium. In his speech the Municipality’s Speaker Cllr Elvis Mphithikezi advised everyone that was attending to be free to interact in the campaign. The campaign presentation was done by the MRM Office Manager Neo Chaka, he mentioned that the objective of the event is to assist in the development of a caring society through the revival of the spirit of Ubuntu and the actualisation and realization of the values and ideals cherished in the constitution. “As a nation we have a set of values that brings us all together when put into practise”. Chaka urged the community to change the way they live as they need to correct each other, defend their families and the country and also practise the positive values. The event was graced by one of the dignitaries, who is the former Minister of Education, former Executive Mayor of Tshwane and now a reverend and the Chairperson of MRM, Father Smangaliso Mkhwatshwa. He started by giving a brief information on how the movement started, and mentioned that one of the main purpose of the dialogue to visit Merafong was because they felt that the people of South Africa especially the youth are not part of available opportunities, like owning their businesses, taking high positions in the corporate environment due to their morals and values. Mkhwatshwa pleaded with the community to change their mind-sets and behavioural patterns. He concluded by telling the community that respect goes a long way, and we also need to care for public properties.
The community was later given a platform to ask anything that was discussed on the programme and a number of youth participated. Furthermore, Chaka explained legal ways on how to embark on a legal and peaceful protests without destroying and burning of government’s properties. The community of Merafong signed a pledge book where they promise to take care and protect public facilities. The ward councillor Cllr Prince Nkutha closed the event by thanking everyone for the successful event and the Municipality for providing such a platform for the community. ‘’Merafong is very fortunate today to receive such an informative and educative lecture, said Nkuna
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