By Zolile Menzelwa
Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) will have a marathon of events to celebrate the life and times of the late Chris Tembisile Hani during the month of April.
Speaking during a media briefing at the municipal head office in Komani, deputy mayor Wongama Gela said April marks a number of landmark events including black people voting for the first time. Gela said April is also a month where Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Solomon Mahlangu died.
The district authority will mark its 10th anniversary of celebrating April as the Chris Hani month. “We will focus more on community interaction, launching of projects, showcasing service delivery initiatives and promotion of local economic development. Importantly, our celebrations are incomplete if we do not remind ourselves of what Chris Hani stood for, therefore our celebrations will also be characterised by motivational and memorial lectures,” Gela said.
The district authority will kick start its events on April 4 with a Wool Growers Indaba in Sakhisizwe Local Municipality (LM). This will be followed by a Solomon Mahlangu memorial lecture on April 6. Mahlangu was hanged on April 6 40 years ago. The lecture will be in Emalahleni LM. Other events will be:
· IDP and budget road show on April 9 and 11;
· Chris Hani memorial lecture on April 10;
· An internal wellness event and a Chris Hani panel discussion on April 12;
· The Chris Hani cooperative indaba on April 15 and 16;
· Openni ng of a Heroes Park in Engcobo on April 17;
· Easter sporting tournament from April 19 to 22;
· Handover of irrigation facilitie, launch of the Ezibeleni industrial park and opening of National Youth Development Agency offices on April 23;
· Unveiling of Zingquthu Heroes Monument on April 24 and
· The Chris Hani Freedom Marathon on April 27.
The Chris Hani marathon is ran in Sabalele, Hani’s birthplace and it traces the road he walked to and from school and church six days a week. The path covers 40km.
Integrated Planning and Economic Development political head Sibongile Mbotshane said the Chris Hani cooperative indaba will be anchored on five pillars. These will include rebuilding relations between CHDM and cooperative leadership. “Our relations with the cooperative leadership are not good. We will engage the leadership on how we can work together effectively going forward. The programmes we will have will be done on communal land and we need to look on how we can commercialise communal land,” Mbotshane said.