If at the start of 2021 someone told either the residents of Tshepisong Village or the owners of the iconic Cremona Cheese Factory that 2021 will bring better things for all and new developments for the area they would have scoffed at the idea. Both would have blamed the strained relations on the illegal land occupiers who in 2018 resorted to breaking into the factory and setting fire to the hostel on the premises. Rian Geldenhuys, national spokesperson for the Civic Movement of South Africa (CMOSA) says that militancy and criminal hooliganism is not the same thing. “When the laws of the land were unjust, we had to be militant. When the laws are just, then there is no place for arson and violence. Following the rule of law is much more effective.”
“After a long and hard struggle by the CIVIC Movement of the 1970s and 1980s, a great victory was won in 1990 when negotiations commenced for the New South Africa. South Africa now has a superb Bill of Rights and very good laws conducive to mutually beneficial empowerment projects. As the Voice of Reason for All Citizens, we have seen time and again that when we use the laws and processes already in place, the community can uplift itself far better than any of the militant political parties that have become pervasive. The Civic Movement has given political parties ample opportunity to do right by the people, but now is the time for the Civic Movement to return and once again uplift society, ” says Mr Geldenhuys.
CMOSA General Secretary Sydney Letoaba agrees: “CMOSA is a Civic Movement, and will always put the interest of the community front and centre. A business-friendly environment is key to success. The new energy that now provides hope to both Cremona Cheese Factory and Tshepisong West is thanks to community members that were inspired by the Civic Movement. One sees many great strides forward in that area. It is never a good idea to fight and always a good idea to reason. CMOSA is very proud of the community of Tshepisong West to use their right to participation in development for good outcomes. Well done to the owners of the Cheese Factory as well for organising the round table where great decisions are made together. We see a future of excellence for our members there.”
Experienced mediator and local businessman Kenneth Hlathi Mungeka facilitated the round table discussions between the Civic and Cremona: “We met Cheese Factory today. The meeting took an hour and half with intense but great discussions.
Cremona were represented by two lawyers and CMOSA was represented by two local leaders assisted by myself. We presented issues of ward 128 as per the MANDATE OF THE COMMUNITY and were pleasantly surprised that Cremona responded with a solid plan for development in the area. School, Clinic, 139 houses, flats, a mall. etc. CMOSA is now a stakeholder in the project. A summary of the plan and beneficiation thereof will be sent soonest. We also agreed on many other issues affecting the community who can look forward to a full report which will be presented in the next public meeting of the community. In short the meeting was not only and eye opener but a huge success for both the community and CMOSA.
The leadership of CMOSA in that ward will make important announcements in the public meeting and we looking forward to a progressive and beneficial relationship with the Cheese Factory. The Cheese Factory are sending their heartfelt apology to the two families who lost their loved ones in their open space recently. A plan to avoid such occurrences will be presented in the soon to sit public meeting.”
C.Cremona & Sons was founded by Cesare Cremona in 1968 specializing in manufacturing of parmesan and other Italian cheeses. Cremona later diversified to other types of cheeses namely : Asiago, Caciotta, Cheddar, Emmenthal, Feta, Blue Cheese, Gouda, Halloumi, Mozzarella, Pecorino, Pepato, ect. To this day C.Cremona & Sons is owned by the Cremona family and will continue to grow with the cheese that they manufacture.
Themba Dini, CMOSA leader for Tspepisong West is more direct about the significance of their achievement: “This will be the biggest achievement by ward 128 Tshepisong West Committee since it has joined CMOSA. We will be the first Committee to bring a good thing that will be applauded by its community through day & night.”
We can not agree more. This is how the whole of the country will be saved. One ward at a time.
Press Enquiries: email rian[AT]cmosa.org.za