Johannesburg - Gauteng premier David Makhura on Monday urged the residents of Reiger Park on the East Rand not to marginalise themselves.
“Do not allow yourselves to be marginalised, South Africa is your country too,” Makhura told residents during a visit to the area.
“Don't allow anyone to marginalise you from this government. See yourself as a South African and not a coloured South African.”
“The coloured community felt they were not white enough during apartheid and now under the current government must not feel that they are not black enough. This community will never be marginalised. We promised Taegrin Morris [four-year old boy killed during a botched hijacking in the township] that this community must be on the same level as others,” he said.
This weekend police said they found the body of a boy at a mine dump in the area. They are conducting tests to establish whether it is of the child Cuburne Lavone van Wyk who went missing on Aug 6.
Makhura also spoke to residents about poverty and unemployment. He said these knew no colour and it was up to the community to stick together to bring an end to both.
People needed to be empowered and the only way to do that was to revive the township's economy.
Makhura said the area had an economy of R2 billion but the money was not circulating in the township.
“We must ask ourselves where the money is going. We are taking money out of the township and taking it to town.”
Township residents should organise themselves and supply government with some of the services it required for daily operations.
He gave an example of feeding schemes at schools and said the food should be bought from locals within the vicinity of the schools.
Economic development MEC Lebogang Maile echoed these sentiments and said government had to support small, micro to medium enterprises in the townships to ensure job creation.
Most townships in the country had the capacity to produce and manufacture goods that could inject cash-flow into the area.
“We must also look at creating a market in neighbouring townships, provinces, and Africa for SMMEs to thrive,” Maile said.