Multi-stakeholder session offers hope for change

"Accept and acknowledge that there are challenges we face as a community, and to co-create a solution.”

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The Bulletin

Sasol hosted a Multi-stakeholder Session on Friday 1 June at Sasol Recreation Club in Secunda. Members of Govan Mbeki Community Forum (GMCF) flocked to the bordering gates of the venue in support of their representatives who would be present in the session. The meeting was also attended by the executive mayor of GMM, Thandi Ngxonono and representatives from various community structures including taxi associations, traditional healers’ associations, community forums and religious associations. These structures represented the issues of unemployment, skills development, access to business opportunities, education, environmental affairs and safety and security.
The purpose of the session was, in the words of Maureen Mboshane, to “accept and acknowledge that there are challenges we face as a community, and to co-create a solution.”
The biggest problem cited by Mboshane and the executive mayor, and with which the other stakeholders agreed, was unemployment. “The majority of inmates in our prison system are our youth, and we’re not happy about it,” the mayor said. This, she believed, was a result of youth unemployment rates. In agreement with this statement, Mboshane went on to say that the energy of the youth needed to be channelled towards positive avenues.
To address the challenges that GMM faces, the first call of action of the meeting was to elect an Interim Committee which would represent the community. By the end of the session, it was decided that this committee would be elected on the basis of each challenge that needs to be addressed. As such, three representatives were nominated under each key issue. The final elections were proposed to take place within three months.
“As the municipality, we have the responsibility to create an economic environment that is conducive enough to attract business investment so that we may capitalise on labour opportunities for our people,” Ngxonono said. The interim committee is set to be one of the driving forces in such a responsibility.
“We need to put our heads together and decide what mitigating plans or strategies do we have to attack these problems,” Mboshane said.
It is apt the GMCF was present at the session, since they have become well-known for their continuous protest against unemployment in GMM. Ashley Dubazane, who representing the forum in the session, said that he believed things were looking up and that the session was a way forward regarding the challenges that GMCF has been tackling.

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