District meetings |07 June 2023
‘People’s personal issues should be taken up by relevant ministries and not State House’
President Wavel Ramkalawan has said that the reason he is not seeing people at State House to discuss personal matters is to ensure that government officers in charge take their responsibility to address those issues.
President Ramkalawan made the statement during the public meeting for Pointe Larue residents held yesterday afternoon at the district’s community centre.
The statement was in response to a resident who had wanted a personal meeting with him at State House to discuss personal matters.
He noted that the system of setting up presidential rendez-vous by the previous administration had caused a slack in addressing pertinent issues in the country given that officials, instead of doing their job, tended to wait on the president for answers to address those issues.
President Ramkalawan noted that officials are paid to do a job which should be delivered and he does not want that kind of system to repeat itself in the new administration.
With regard to doing small businesses, among which can include food van businesses, on outer islands apart from Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, President Ramkalawan said although the policy is for only one hotel per island, there are other business opportunities that could be undertaken but it has to be those that will adapt to the island environment.
He added that people who want to do business on outer islands can contact the Islands Development Company (IDC).
Answering a question with regard to the failed negotiations between local farmers and IDC for agricultural projects on Coetivy, President Ramkalawan said that the local farmers wanted government to do everything without them making any contribution. He noted that government wanted the farming project to be a joint partnership and the door is still open for negotiations bearing in mind that the local farmers also contributes.
On the procedures to obtain a license to breed land tortoises, Nanette Laure from Environment said that the activity is restricted to some people only and no new licenses are being issued.
To add, President Ramkalawan said that the breeding activity will need to be revised to include more people.
He noted though that there is a ban on the exportation of mature land tortoises.
With regard to the removal of facial hair, especially for boys in schools, the Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin told the concerned students not to take it as a punishment other than a groom phase by teachers in preparing them for their next stage in life.
He noted that while not all of the recommendations in the school’s code of conduct may reflect today’s reality, the ministry in collaboration with Unesco will organise a youth summit under the theme ‘Negotiating a new education landscape’ where students will get the opportunity to voice their concerns moving forward.
Other topics discussed by the residents with President Ramkalawan and his delegation include the introduction of the higher purchase system, road projects, environment, education curriculum, distribution of methadone, access to beaches, disposal of government vehicles, sewage, house title deeds agreement, possible visa waiver agreement with Thailand, noise and dust from the quarry, among many others.
At the start of the meeting President Wavel Ramkalawan called on private land owners whose land falls within the phases of construction of roads across the country to assist the larger community, to think of them (community) and the country by collaborating and cooperating with government to give way leave for these roads to be constructed or completed.
He noted that in the event of non-cooperation, the government will seek alternative measures available to ensure that the roads to assist the larger community are completed.
He told the residents that there is already money in the budget to construct a third lane in the district but government is experiencing difficulties in regards to way leave with two land owners and is still in negotiation with them.
Also at the start of the meeting, the Minister for Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, gave an update on the housing situation in the district and on plans for the future.
He said that given the challenges to assist housing and land applicants across the country, the district of Pointe Larue is no exception.
He said a 16-unit affordable houses will be launched in the district by end of June 2023 to be completed in March–April 2024 while another six units will start by September 2023 at Nageon Estate to end by November 2024.
He added that the ministry is looking into the possibility of constructing some mid-range condos at Anonyme Estate including the development of a land bank project.
Minister Rangasamy said that the district has 66 applicants for affordable houses, 24 applicants for land bank, 10 applicants for mid-range condos while it is assisting 17 with a second housing loan.