Govt to bring services closer to KZN rural people

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pietermaritzburg - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development is to build 27 One Stop Development Centres to bring government services closer to people living in remote and rural areas.

Tabling his Budget Vote in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature on Wednesday, MEC for Social Development Meshack Radebe said the department had allocated R70 million for the construction of the centres in the 2009/10 financial year.

The centres will be built in eQhudeni, eMkhuphula, eMachunwini, eMaswazini, KwaNjoko, eMpumazi among others in deep rural areas.

"These One Stop Development Centres will become a market where the local communities will sell their produce. Each will have a community garden, and we encourage local communities to have gardens at their homes in support of the One Home, One Garden Campaign," he said.

Services by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and Departments of Health, Social Development, Home Affairs and Labour as well as the police will also be available at these centres.

"As the government in this province we don't want to see our people traveling long distance to access the government services. But the services must come to them where they live," said Mr Radebe.

He said that the department had identified the need to establish these centres as an intervention strategy to address abject poverty in needy areas.

"Our main objective is to provide access to social development services to marginalised communities of the province. Service rendered by other government departments would be house under one roof," said Mr Radebe.

Six One Stop Development Centres have already been constructed in KwaZulu-Natal in the areas of eThekwini, Msinga, two in uThungulu, Mkhanyakude and Zululand with the budget of R62 million.

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