Date: 11 January 2016 Read: 22646
Residents keep on complaining about not wanting to belong “here or there” - and this is what the Vhembe District has gone through and is still going through. But who is to blame for this mess?
I put the blame for the mess on the Demarcation Board and the leaders who approved this sick demarcation. Those who are saying they want another municipality and those against it are right, albeit for their own (good) reasons.
Let’s look at the old order and why I say it was wrongly transformed.
In the Vhembe area there are about 800 000 Venda speaking residents, centred in the district. In the direction of the former Gazankulu, there are about 400 000 Shangaan/Tsonga speaking residents. Add to this the former white areas and it becomes clear that in Vhembe there is a majority and minority groups.
Probably the biggest mistake is that Venda speaking residents seem to have a perception that “we are in the driver’s seat and we rule them.” From a Tsonga/Shangaan perception it is “ we have been absorbed and (are being) ruled.” So now we have Venda speaking majority whose previous set-up was not tampered with, while the 2,1 million Tsonga/Shangaans have been split up into Vhembe, Mopani and even into the Mpumalanga province.
To me the Venda speaking residents were given an unfair advantage over the Tsonga/Shangaan without it being their fault. Part of its former boundaries were supposed to have been allocated to Capricon (Tshitale and Nthabalala) and Blouberg (Sinthumule-Kutama and Musina).This would have made sense that all former homelands had been dismantled.
To be honest this has since pitted the two groups at odds and no wonder on the issue of renaming the town Louis Trichardt, the Tsonga/Shangaans sided with whites against the name change, because the two believe they are being marginalised. You also can’t blame them, since they believe the name favours Vendas.
Historically as Blacks, whether being Tsonga/Shangaan or Venda, we were subjected to the same oppression by the Whites, so once we Blacks start to turn against one another it simply translate to frustrations. We must be ashamed of that and have serious introspection. Why should democracy divide us instead of uniting us? Are we now living the life of Animal Farm? All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others?
Could it be that money is an evil that can turn friends into sworn enemies.
The solution is to start all over again with the demarcation process. It must demonstrate inclusiveness to all groups.
Be sensitive about the renaming of places and institutions. There is also no reason to make Thohoyandou the economic centre of the region over the more viable Louis Trichardt.
Let me remind you that where there are no chaos does not mean people are satisfied with where they belong. Give integration and transformation a chance, but correct the mistakes of the past.
- Solani Mashimbye, Waterval
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