Statement by the Premier of the Northern Cape on Current Protest in Kimberley

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The Premier of the Northern Cape hereby expresses his concern at the current situation prevailing in Kimberley. The Northern Cape Provincial Government together with the Municipality have on several occasions met with the United Community Forum of Sol Plaatje, to not only report on the planned interventions but also to seek their cooperation in the planned intervention. On several occasions Premier has pleaded with the community to exercise patience and restraint and allow us to start working for the improvement of services.

It is grossly unfair to expect that after five days of announcing funding there would be an immediate change in circumstances. From this one can actually deduce that certain individuals were caught off-guard with the funding that was made available and are hell-bent on ensuring that we do not improve the lives of our people.

It therefore goes without saying that the repair work and the installation of certain infrastructure would undoubtedly not be completed in one week. We therefore plead once again with the community leaders to return to the table and to come speak to government in good faith.

Premier has taken the people into confidence with the announcement of the intervention as well as detail what the monetary value to the planned works is. Premier also expresses his profound disappointment in the untrue statements made on social media about the intended or planned misappropriation of the announced R500 million. These reckless statements are not backed up by any facts and should people be confident that they do have evidence to back up these allegations, they must without hesitation these to the police that have the capacity to investigate. Facebook and other social media platforms do not have that capacity and only serves to promote these untruths.

It should also be noted that we cannot allow these lawlessness and the police must deal with incidences that fall within their mandate and that is to uphold law and order.

It is disingenuous and goes against logic that people community leaders can incite people to shutdown a week after announcing an intervention that will improve their lives.

We wish to apologise to members of the public for the inconvenience and inconsiderate behaviour because this shutdown has the potential to negatively affect the household income and conditions that these leaders claim to be fighting for.

These actions are viewed as very serious and irresponsible. We call on the community to exercise restraint and not allow themselves to be used for criminal activities. He therefore calls on the community to partner with Government to ensure that we together restore the city. Premier has vowed to see that the commitment made to the people of the city be honoured and that full accountability will prevail.

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Issued by the Office of the Premier
26 April 2021

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