An independent councillor, who won a ward from the ANC in the local government elections, promises to fight the scourge of unemployment among youth, women and people living with disabilities through agriculture in Tzaneen, Limpopo.
Erick Ralepelle of the Greater Tzaneen local municipality took ward 34 from Masodi Letsoalo in the Lephepane village outside Lenyenye.
Apart from several government labour intensive projects, the area is rich in agriculture and has enabled many families to put food on the table for years.
The rich soil is good for all sorts of fruits and vegetables, including oranges, apples, pawpaws, litchis and lemons.
Vegetables such as cabbages, onions and spinach, and fruit avocados are grown and exported to other African countries, China, Japan, and the Americas.
In his inauguration speech, Ralepelle said he was baffled that so many people do not have jobs in an area with such massive agricultural fields.
He promised to speak to both local and foreign investors and champion job creation.
“Everyone with the right documentation will have a chance to get trained and be able to impart the necessary agricultural skills to the entire community and help to improve local economy,” said Ralepelle.
His campaign manager, Black Letsoalo, accused the outgoing councillor of nepotism after she allegedly appointed only members of her family in lucrative private and government community projects, leaving deserving others in the lurch.
The Citizen reported last year about the allegations, which Masodi Letsoalo vehemently denied.
“The reason we won the elections was because people were tired of how the ANC ran its business,” said Black Letsoalo. “Jobs for pals and jobs for families was the order of the day and people were tired. That is why they rejected the ANC and voted in our favour.”