On 17 April 2017 in the community of Hoedspruid, Limpopo- Maruleng Municipality, a young leader with a love and passion for her rural community held a dialogue to discuss the shortage of clean water, access to health care, bursaries and crime prevention. “We still drink water from the river, which is not clean enough,” explained Motsatsi Mmola.
The community is situated in the heart of the impoverished Tzaneen and faces outrageous living conditions. For this reason, Motsatsi courageously rose to her feet and mobilised young people, community leaders and members to discuss the possible way forward for all grade 12 learners who cannot see beyond matriculating or Limpopo due to a lack of resources such as access to the internet for post-matric options. “I have a matric certificate and N4-N6 in Public Management studies but still I am unemployed,” Motsatsi added.
After several attempts of seeking help from political leaders in the community and her local municipality, Motsatsi took the bold step of registering for the 2016 municipality elections as an independent candidate gunning support for, “The community first before personal interests.”
When asked why she does all this without expecting any financial or political gain she responded, “A person needs her people, the love and the respect I have for my community coupled with changes I want to see motivate me to keep on doing good.” It is appalling to wrestle with the gripping reality that people still drink water from the river along with cattle; that matriculants cannot see beyond grade 12 because of a lack of resources as minimal as arguably- access to the internet and that people from the most impoverished of communities are faced with crimes and nothing tangible is being done by leaders of communities who have Party affiliations and loyalties vested in their various political structures as opposed to the key stakeholders who put them in office – the people.
She has overcome threats from political parties after registering as an independent candidate for the municipal elections to a point where they now revere and respect her for the honest and empathetic leadership she displays. “We will have follow-up dialogue that will be near the 14-19 May in our community which will be close to the budget for local municipalities where community members who want to see change will attend,” Motsatsi added. The young leader attributes her success to the support from the community of Hoedspruid, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers and God. In closing and with pride in her voice she said, “Dream big but take baby steps.”