Premier Mahumapelo calls for calm in Marikana and Bapong
The Bokone Bophirima Provincial Government on Friday called on the youth in Marikana and Bapong villages in the Bojanala Platinum District to avoid engaging in violent and criminal activities following the outbreak of violent protests.
The North West office of the premier said protestors should opt for proper discussions with Lonmin and the Bapo-Ba-Mogale Tribal Authority on matters of common interest.
Incidents of violence began last year‚ after the signing of a deal on July 30 between Lonmin and the Bapo-Ba-Mogale Tribal Authority which led to accusations of theft and corruption.
Residents have claimed that the tribal council has been receiving royalties from Lonmin since 1969 — of between R10-million and R400-million a year.
Urging communities to choose non-violent approaches to addressing the socio-economic gaps affecting the area‚ Premier Supra Obakeng Ramoeletsi Mahumapelo called on the protestors to also refrain from preventing learners‚ who are all writing mid-year examinations‚ from going to school.
"While young people’s needs must be addressed as part of the collective’s commitment towards realising the goals of the National Development Plan‚ they must be strongly discouraged from resorting to violent actions‚ and be motivated to commemorate Youth month in ways that give meaning to the achievements of the 1976 generation.
"We remain confident that with proper engagements‚ the affected parties will find lasting solutions to challenges raised by the residents‚ and sustain their effort to build a non-violent and progressive community‚" said Mahumapelo.
He maintained that the provincial government would continue to pursue radical socio-economic transformation through the development of villages‚ townships and small dorpies‚ the approach which he said would greatly benefit the people of Bokone Bophirima Province‚ especially the youth.