One of the years that meant a lot to South Africans is fading into the annals of history. 2017 is one of the years full of incessant and frantic activities. It was eleven months full of a range of catalogue of social, sporting, civic and religious activities. This is the year in which the democratic Constitution of the Republic of South Africa celebrates its twentieth (20th) year of existence. Politically, this is the year in which the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) held its elective conference. By virtue of being the ruling party, its conference has captured national, if not, international attention. We give thanks to the Almighty for the divine intervention at the conference where pessimists and prophets of doom already wrote obituary of the ruling party, claiming this conference will be nothing but a battle field which will be the deathbed of the ruling party.
Our municipality is arguably the best in the province when it comes to community consultative session, which is why we got an award in Back-to-Basics programmes. Our successful hosting of these community consultative meetings led to our municipality being a destination of choice for provincial and national events. We used this year’s Mandela month to strengthen our international relations; by hosting a delegation from Botswana led by Khosi Seretse Khama. Provincial events that we hosted includes Premier’s Imbizo, which we hosted at Sefihlogo; Provincial Women parliament which we co-hosted with Limpopo Legislature at Ga Seleka; LEDET MEC held a radical economic transformation event, a township revitalization programme, at our municipality while Sports Arts and Culture MEC held Sports extravaganza at Mogol club to unearth and parade local talent. These are just some of the events we hosted this year and we are just mentioning them to show that we Lephalale have a good story to tell when it comes to community consultative meetings.
We are a peaceful municipality whose people are full of Ubuntu/Botho; let’s demonstrate that during this festive season. We must learn to give Christmas season its real meaning. The season of love and goodwill. The season meant to give and rejoice; the time to offer a caring helping hand to the indigent, the vulnerable and the destitute families. The time pervaded with the spirit of togetherness and goodwill.
We await Grade 12 results with optimism. It is our hope that they will not only emulate the stupendous achievements of the previous Grade 12s but will surpass them. Our investment in the youth is our investment in the future of our nation. But those who can’t make a grade in this year’s examination should not despair but prepare themselves to repeat. After all, success is not measured by how many times you fall, but how many times you successfully stand after falling.
Let me take this opportunity to remind ourselves about the unambiguous statistics of those of us who are either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. The famous ABC message may sound like an outdated, boring, tedious and monotonous slogan, but it saves lives. We can no longer fold our arms and allow this monster called HIV to destroy our family units.
December holidays are the days marked by traffic congestions as people will be going to honeymoons, pilgrimages and sporting activities. Our request is that those who will be driving should do so soberly. Don’t Drink and Drive. Drive Safely and Arrive Alive. And remember: Speed Kills. Arrive safely at your destination and enjoy the Christmas festivities with your family, congregation or friends. But remember, as poet Mzwakhe Mbuli puts it, the flip side of Don’t Drink and Drive is Don’t Drink and Walk on the road.
Make grand New Year resolutions and get into the New Year with rejuvenated spirit and courage to face whatever challenge.
Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.
Kgotso e be le lena! … God Bless!
Hon MJ MAEKO
MAYOR – LEPHALALE MUNICIPALITY