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JOBURG – Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, of the Moral Regeneration Movement, said the current dispensation has channels that allows residents to be heard by those in authority.

 

Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa has condemned the destruction of public property which has become synonymous with protests, mostly related to service delivery.

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“If you burn down the schools, it’s not just the buildings you are destroying. You are destroying the future of many young people. Your own children, your own relatives and the country as a whole. You are crippling the economic potential of the country,” he said.

Mkhatshwa was speaking at the official launch of a partnership between the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) and the Department of Infrastructure Development (Did). The department and the movement will embark on a massive civil society outreach drive to promote community activism, engage society about the value of public property, and to mobilise communities to become the defenders and protectors of public property.

Mkhatshwa said citizens had no reason to destroy public property in order to be heard by those in authority. “If you are unhappy with your ward councillor, remove them from office, but please don’t destroy public property.” He mentioned that the current dispensation has channels that allow residents to be heard by those in authority.

MEC Jacob Mamabolo with chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Infrastructure Development, Lindiwe Lasindwa, and Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa hold a certificate that confirms the partnership between the Department of Infrastructure Development and the Moral Regeneration Movement.
MEC Jacob Mamabolo with chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Infrastructure Development, Lindiwe Lasindwa, and Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa hold a certificate that confirms the partnership between the Department of Infrastructure Development and the Moral Regeneration Movement.

Mamabolo added, “The MRM is a custodian of morality in our country, and protecting public property is a moral issue. It defines who we are as a people. If we don’t take care of public property, we cannot take care of our country, because public infrastructure is our common heritage.

“Let’s take this campaign to our people. We are confident that the MRM, through their extensive network, will help us broaden and deepen our contact with our people.”

Mkhatshwa pointed out that they want to go beyond simply protecting and defending public property. “We should cherish and enhance the assets that we have, as they are for the good of all. We will use our extensive reach to enter into dialogue with our people in communities, suburbs, townships and villages across Gauteng.”

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The I Care We Care campaign, which was launched last year, is aimed at mobilising citizens and communities of Gauteng to stand up in defence of public property. The overriding objective is to mobilise citizens to take ownership of public property; to embrace public assets such as schools, clinics and monuments as ‘people’s property’ that should be protected from destruction, vandalism and littering.

Officials and leadership from the Department of Infrastructure Development and those of the Moral Regeneration Movement.
Officials and leadership from the Department of Infrastructure Development and those of the Moral Regeneration Movement.

Since its inception in July last year, the campaign has received widespread support with more than 4.5 million mentions and endorsements on social media alone, and according to Mamabolo, the campaign has been successful and has yielded positive results.

He pointed out that since the campaign was launched, there have been no incidents of property destruction in residential areas, communities or townships. The exceptions, he said, were a number incidents during student protests, and the campaign, going forward, would also focus on engaging with student communities.

Share your thoughts on the destruction of property on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

 

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