17 February 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Cultural Village for Matloding community

by: Nthusang Lefafa and Vusumzi Kama   date: 02 february 2018

Residents of Matloding Village in Ratlou Local Municipality will
soon have a cultural village, hoped to bring with it financial
empowerment benefits.
The Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs (CATA),
has recently visited the local community as part of a departmental
outreach programme.  As part of the Fifth Administraton’s five
concretes, the visit re-affirmed government’s commitment to
develop Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD).
Following similar initiatives in Tosca and Ganyesa, Matloding saw
CATA officials coming in their numbers to deliver services offered
by the department which are normally accessed through the
department’s district offices.
The objective of the meeting was to encourage the community of
Matloding to be part of a collective, which voluntarily engaged in
building a cultural village to benefit them in future.
“The sad reality is that Setswana culture is slowly fading into
obscurity and we need to preserve what we have whilst we have
time and opportunity for future generations. It is projects such as
these that will ensure that our history is recorded and told for years
to come,” said Mochware.
Thabisi Seakoma, a community member from Matloding told
Semphete that he is happy that government is coming to the
village. He said this is a sign that they have not been forgotten by
those who are in power. 
“I am happy that government is bringing developments to our
communities and that they are willing to improve our lives. This is a
clear sign that the provincial leadership cares about us, even
though we are in remote areas. I am looking forward to learning a
lot through this project because we are going to be involved in
building this cultural village,” Seakoma said.
He expressed hope that the cultural village would help to
economically empower villagers and also teach them critical skills. 

“The construction of a cultural village will bring tourists who will be
paying to see how Batswana people live. It is going to empower
me with critical skills that I can use to look after my family. When
the cultural village is complete, elders in the community will be
selling some of our traditional items and we will also be able to
make money out of accommodation because some tourists will
want to stay overnight,” said Seakoma.
CATA MEC, Ontlametse Mochware, said her department realised
that it is important to bring services to rural communities and that is
why they have embarked on outreach programmes.  
“We realised that it is important to bring services to people in rural
areas. These visits help us to expose rural communities to the
services we have on offer. We are going to build a cultural village
and use it as a tool to grow the rural economy,” Mochware said.
“It is also important for chiefs to raise awareness on cultural issues
because they are the custodians of these rural areas. The
response from the local villagers is overwhelming and they have
shown support. We have also visited several schools in the area
and taught learners about our heritage, the African Union (AU)
anthem and the national flag. The aim of these visits is part of
promoting Bokone Bophirima Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s
concrete of Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD).”
Kgosi Kopano Lekoko of Barolong Boo Mariba, said he is happy
that government continues to support traditional leaders.
“On behalf of Barolong Boo Mariba, we welcome the notion of a
cultural village and we promise to support it wholeheartedly by
ensuring the success of this project. Setswana se a re, mabogo
dinku a thebana (working together we can) and we applaud the
department for their role in ensuring that our culture does not go to
oblivion,” said Kgosi Lekoko.

“This programme has brought happiness to our community. The
partnership between government and the traditional leadership in
the province is very important because it helps to improve the lives
of people in rural areas by exposing them to various opportunities.
The commitment to build a cultural village here in this community

shows that government truly has the best interests of our people at
heart,” he said.
A mobile library from CATA was also part of the visit and learners
were able to read some of their favourite books. Officials from the
department of Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development
(FEED) explained to the community how they register their
businesses on the central supplier database (CSD) and take
advantage of business opportunities within government.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Department
of Health and Ratlou Local Municipality also presented what they
have on offer for rural communities.
Caption 1 and 2: MEC Ontlametse Mochware joins residents
of Matloding in singing and dancing for Setswana traditional
songs