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  • Writer's pictureHoedspruit Chamber Sakekamer

Newsletter - July 2023

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Winter is HERE

We will start off with one of the most exciting events in July....SNOW! Many flocked to the Longtom Pass, Graskop, Dullstroom and other areas that had (what we would call) "heavy snowfall" for the first time in quite a few years. For many people it was their first time experiencing snow and there was a lot of fun to be had. From snowball fights to snowmen and the slippery, yet funny, learning curve of keeping your footing.
The chill didn't miss Hoedspruit, and we are still shivering through the rest of the winter. For those of you with seasonal depression/affective disorder (yes, that is a thing), stay strong....spring is coming!
Snow in Long Tom Pass
Snow in Long Tom Pass - Photo courtesy of Thehan Wolmarans

Celebrating Mandela Day

Garden day
We published a press release for those of you interested to read more about our Mandela Day project - click on this link. It was truly a great success and we have already had enquiries from surrounding communities on how to start a project in their own villages or towns. Thank you to the press and everyone else who helped us put the word out there. And, once again thank you for the team of Garden and Life and JTI for making this possible. We will be following up in the coming months to post some success stories. The hope is that we can create micro-farmers that will be able to grow food not only for their families, but potentially get an income from selling their produce. If you want to try your hand at micro-farming in your own backyard, let us know and we will send you the details.

LED Forum - Informal Traders

A forum was held at the end of June to discuss the way forward with informal trading and markets. Many of our local markets have fallen into a state of disrepair and the municipality's aim is to upgrade these facilities while temporary moving traders to an alternative location. The forum made it clear that existing structures or new structures are not to be extended or altered by traders with the objective of occupying it in terms of living quarters. The forum will come up with a stricter plan for control and will present it to traders before any new plans are rolled out.
Many taxi ranks are also not used for what they were intended and there are no law enforcement. Traditional authorities will be approached and requested to step in and manage or enforce the law. A request will also be made to RAL and Public Works to help manage and monitor the situation. Unfortunately, without these authorities' help, we will not be able to reach an amicable solution.
Locations will also need to be taken into account to make it convenient for traders but not to the detriment of businesses with regards to crime, being visually unappealing or create further transport issues.
The forum agreed that it would be very important to have all stakeholders present when making the final decisions. In the mean time, a study will be done to collect all the accident reports surrounding these markets to be submitted to RAL for request the improvement of traffic while taking the safety of shoppers/pedestrians into account.

Community Policing Forum

Hoedpsruit CPF Meeting

On 13 June, residents were invited to attend the CPF Forum meeting at the SAPS Detectives buidling. The purpose for the meeting was to create a CPF sub-forum in Hoedspruit. CPF stands for Community Policing Forum. These individuals will be the direct link between residents and the South African Police.
Not beating around the bush, Sergeants Mkhulu and Malele instructed that we had to vote for representatives. After some deliberation, the following positions were filled:
Chairperson: Craig Bigalke Deputy Chairperson: Charlotte Sullivan
Treasurer: Mamsy Mashile Secretary: Portia Maropane
PRO1: Thierry Boulanger Deputy Secretary: Maggie Mathule
PRO2: Sandra Mokoena
Thank you to you all for the continued commitment to keep our community safe. Any volunteers can lobby for additional positions and create a duty description of their role.

Hoedspruit Tourism Centre Discussions

Mr Jann Bader, a member of HCS has submitted a proposal for a new Tourism Information Centre to be discussed. Excited about the idea, we met with some of the most major role players in Tourism and came to the conclusion that it is a wonderful idea. However, the task of finding the right location and offering the correct amount of services, is a bit daunting if you do not have the capital backing. Now we turn to the public or any players in the tourism industry - if you would be interested to get involved, have any ideas, know how we can get funding or have any other information, please get in touch. Our email address:

Beauty or Beast?

Art exhibition
We were invited to Warren Cary Beaty or Beast Gallery event and what an event it was! 36 Extremely talented artists exhibited about a 100 spectacular wildlife art pieces, and the grand opening of the show was an affair to remember. The show was a collaboration between the Warren Cary Art Gallery, Provet Animal Hospital and Umoya Khulula Wildlife Centre.
At the opening event, an auction was held that raised funds for pangolins. It was a huge success. Congratulations to all the organisers and patrons who opened their hearts and wallets for this amazing cause. Once again, our community comes together to fight for those who cannot do it for themselves. Bravo!
For more photos, videos and news, follow this link.

Maruleng Integrated Development Plan Meeting

As you might know by now, the new budget is in effect and meeting was held to discuss rollout of the integrated development plan for the next 3 years. There was about 38 attendees, including the Mayor. Identification of the structure and stakeholders were discussed, whereby the presenter proceeded to read out the plan. A copy thereof can be requested from HCS.
The Municipality will be launching a public participation roadshow to make sure that they meet all communities and listen to issues that the public feels need addressing. The analysis phase will start in September 2023 and the new budget committee will be erected by November 2023.
R3.5m rand has been budgeted for the IDP planning over the next 3 years.
In conclusion, the Mayor's speech reiterated that the IDP plan was structured in response to the need for service delivery. He continued to say that Maruleng may not have the "muscle" in terms of budget, but they are dedicated to give the best service delivery that they can. Many of the residents may not even be aware, but MLM intervenes a lot in services that are not delegated to them, but they do it to help the community. He has asked for patience from residents as many of the issues that have come up over the past year, is not their primary function, which means when they intervene, it may take longer than expected to resolve. There is no lack of commitment and it is important to understand that some processes or actions require extensive paperwork, approval processes and needs to be done according to the laws and by-laws set out. The proverbial "hoops" are tenfold compared to that of standard corporations.
The new IDP budget will be available in May 2024.

Pressure cooker

Under Pressure

We have reported quite a few times on an FAQ session which the mayor said he will have with the community. We have collected everyone's questions and issues and created a FAQ document on request of the mayor to be submitted to the directors for comment or answers.
The document was submitted in March. Since the, HCS has requested a meeting multiple times. We are supposed to have monthly 1 on 1 meeting with MLM to discuss any issues and how HCS can help or what to communicate to the public.
Finally, after 3 months, our request was granted only to find that the mayor could not be present. The Municipal Manager agreed to see us but unfortunately didn't have the answers that we were hoping to get.
She did however oblige with questions surrounding the valuations. The procedures, extensions, etc. has been very well communicated to the community but still the same answers get asked according to her. She also proceeded to mention that the amount of complaints (some unsavory) they are aware of on social media and whatsapp groups, doesn't nearly correlate with the amount of objections that they have received. The physical objections was very few. We can confirm that you are still able to go to the valuation office and seek assistance for Kedibone. If you feel that your case needs escalation, the MM has confirmed that her door is open and you are welcome to raise the issue with her personally.

Basically, there is more pressure than ever to get answers that keep on snowballing. The problem is, if we don't get verifiable answers from the authorities meant to provide those answers, we are not able to answer the community's questions. The frustration is evident from comments made online, but the truth is, it is not for lack of trying.

A handful op people are actively using their own resources and time to protect and preserve this town. 99% of these people are also running their own businesses and raising families, but still manage to sacrifice every spare minutes. Most of the community organisations require membership fees to survive and/or make an impact. Yet, the public turns a blind eye to their responsibility to volunteer, donate or subscribe but still demand change. If your question remains: "but what am I paying taxes for then"? Then, my friend, you have totally fallen out of touch with the reality that we find ourselves in today. Anything worth saving, cost way more than just your taxes.

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