Malamulele – Communications Minister Faith Muthambi urged residents of Malamulele in Limpopo to refrain from engaging in protests that result in the destruction of property.
“As a Member of Parliament (MP) deployed in this region… I am here to serve you. I am your link to Parliament. I urge the community of Malamulele to use the Parliamentary Constituency Office to report service delivery challenges and avoid destructive protests.
“As we will be servicing all people, irrespective of their political affiliation, we believe that our people will begin to realise that there are productive ways of responding and expressing their frustrations.
“In a democratic environment, it is only peaceful and non-violent protests that will drive change in the area,” she said.
Minister Muthambi officially opened the Malamulele Parliamentary Constituency Office on Thursday.
Violent protests erupted in the area last year with residents demanding their own municipality, claiming that the Thulamela municipality was not prioritising them in service delivery. Four schools were set alight during the protests.
Hosi Busa Nxumalo, a senior traditional leader in Malamulele and chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders in Vhembe, said the parliamentary office will bring people together to deal with pertinent issues relating to service delivery.
“As traditional leaders, we are going to support this office all the way. We have already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Minister that we are going to work together. To us this office is a bridge between government and the people, where residents will be able to air their views and challenges.”
The Parliamentary Constituency Office serves as the centre of information on government programmes. It will also be a link to government so there can be direct contact and communication.
Parliamentary Constituency Offices play a vital role in enabling the public to become active citizens and to take part in parliamentary activities. During Parliamentary Constituency Weeks, MPs and Member of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs) have a duty to be available to the public; help solve problems, and report back to their constituents on what is happening in Parliament.
The parliamentary calendar sets aside regular periods for MPs to spend in their constituencies to do constituency work. During that period, members visit their constituencies and check on government programmes.
Education cornerstone of the new Parliament Office
Education will be the cornerstone of the Malamulele Parliamentary Constituency Office, which was officially opened by Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, on Thursday.
“The Malamulele Parliamentary Office will be actively involved in the education system in our area because we strongly believe that education is the passport to a better life.
“Education will help us better respond to our challenges. We want to use education as a [vehicle] of delivering growth,” she said.
Minister Muthambi was speaking to learners from Mphambo High School outside Malamulele as part of the Back to School campaign. The Minister used the platform to hand out school shoes to learners from destitute households.
She encouraged the learners to focus on their school work.
“You are all here to learn… If you focus on your education, you will have all our support. We will organise a computer lab for you but on condition that you improve your grade 12 pass rate. Again, there will be gifts for the three best performers of the year.
“These should be the top three learners who will be consistent from now until the end of this academic year.”
She said the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) will deliver copies of the government newspaper, Vuk’uzenzele, in order to enhance the knowledge of the learners.
Malamulele West Circuit Manager Christinah Mafunzwaini said: “We think that after the Minister’s visit, there is going to be a significant improvement as far as learners performance is concerned. Learners and educators are all excited about this important visit.”
School principal Nathaniel Masuluke said: “We want to make a public commitment that we are going to improve our matric pass rate at our school. We feel very encouraged by the Minister’s visit.”
Minister Muthambi, who was accompanied by local traditional leaders Hosi Xigamani and Hosi Mphambo, also visited Xigamani High, where the school’s matrics did not perform well in the last academic year.
School principal Bennet Mabasa said the school does not have a library, computer centre and proper sanitation.
“Last year, we achieved less than 55% pass rate in grade 12. However, the good news is that this year, we have set a record of achieving more than 85%.
“We will be able to achieve this through extra classes during the school holidays, giving learners more work, effective morning and afternoon studies as well as outsourcing the best educators in the region to come and assist us. Again, we will also be introducing winter classes.”