San community demands chief 

Source: San community demands chief – The Standard

THE San community in Tsholotsho has appealed to government to speed up the process of installing a substantive chief, saying the delays are counterproductive and frustrating development.

Government approved the appointment of Christopher Dube as the acting chief for the community in 2021.

Dube said poverty, social rejection, decline of cultural identity and the discrimination of their rights as a group continues to haunt the community despite being the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa.

“We now have a good relationship with the government.

“I was appointed in October last year with the blessing of the Chiefs council but it’s almost a year now after the appointment without being installed as a substantive chief,”Dube said in an interview.

“We want to revive our culture and start some new projects for our community.

“As long as we do not have leadership to represent us at national level, development in our community will always elude us.

“We appeal to the government to accelerate the process.”

The San community suffers deep structural and systematic marginalisation.

In 2021, government acknowledged that the San suffered structural and systematic marginalisation before announcing a number of interventions to assist the community.

This followed a report presented in cabinet after a visit to the San community in Tsholotsho by a government delegation led by Local Government minister, July Moyo.

Government intervention measures include building clinics, primary and secondary schools, waiving entry requirements for learners, facilitating issuance of birth and identity documents and appointing headmen and chiefs to “enhance the participation of the San/Tjwao in governance.”

Tsholotsho district development coordinator, Aaron Gono said they were still waiting for the Chiefs Council to sit and make their submissions to the president.

“Everything has been done on the ground, but we are waiting for the Chiefs Council to sit and make their submissions to the president,”  Gono said.

Poverty is rife among the San who survive mostly on casual work in neighbouring Ndebele and Kalanga communities, a situation researchers blame for the failure of the community to climb the social ladder compared to their neighbouring Ndebele and Kalanga communities.