Govt programme brings vibrancy in rural areas

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pretoria - In all the villages where the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) is currently being implemented, a sense of vibrancy is evident.

According to the Rural Development and Land Reform Mid-Term Review, great strides have since been made and villagers are now fostering a spirit of unity and togetherness as a result of the CRDP.

A month after it was approved by Cabinet in 2009, President Jacob Zuma officially unveiled the CRDP in Muyexe village, Limpopo.

The creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods lies at the heart of the CRDP. The programme commits itself to ensuring that at least one person in each rural household is employed for a minimum period of two years.

To ensure sustainability, communal ownership, and effective contribution towards the overall objectives of developing rural areas, the department entered into social compacts with communities, as well as contractual relationships with unemployed community members.

At Muyexe, 330 houses have been built, boreholes have been equipped, a water purification plant has been set up underwritten by the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA); internal water reticulation has been established by the Giyani local municipality and 275 sanitation units have been provided.

Added to this, a community centre with Post Office, clinic, satellite police station, drop-in centre and sports stadium has been built by the provincial government.

The local school was renovated and more classrooms and ablution facilities were added. A new Early Childhood Development Centre with solar lighting was also constructed.

Two Village Viewing Areas now enable the community to view major sporting events. Further to this, an I-school Africa Rural Development Programme at the secondary and primary school offers learners an opportunity to interact and forge skills in the use of new technology.

The Mid Term Review also reported that solar powered street lights are to be provided in Muyexe, Gonono and Dingamanzi.

Meanwhile, in Mpumalanga, the Mhlongamvula Communal Property Association (CPA) planted 400 hectares of summer crops - 200 hectares of soya beans and 200 hectares of maize.

The crops are now being harvested, resulting in a total expected income of R3 04 million. The project also resulted in 18 people being employed with ten tractors and implements being provided. Two vegetable enterprises were also established as a result of the master gardener training programme.

The CRDP has also resulted in 100 households in Mkhondo having been assisted with solar units. The local school has been renovated and state-of-the-art education and boarding facilities built.

In Riemvasmaak, in the Northern Cape, 100 household gardens were established under the programme. A one hectare community garden was established in Vredesvallei, while 22 livestock farmers were provided with grazing camps. Also, a 37 km water pipeline was completed and solar lighting provided to 100 households.

Two clinics have been constructed and are now operational, while cattle-handling facilities and fencing have been completed, noted the Mid Term Review.

There has also been much activity in the North-West. In the Ngaka Modiri Molema District, a community of 800 people benefitted from a project in which 40 pregnant Bonsmara heifers were procured to improve the quality of livestock for an enterprise development project. Also, 12 Bonsmara bulls were procured for breeding purposes.

A further 200 goats and seven rams were procured for nine cooperatives in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District.

In the district of Dr RS Mompati, 40 pregnant Bonsmara heifers were procured to improve the quality of livestock for two enterprise development projects, for the benefit of a CPA consisting of 500 people and a Trust consisting of 60 people.

A total of 780 household have been electrified in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal. Bulk water infrastructure is also benefitting 720 households under the Ndaya Water scheme.

The designs and feasibility assessment for a Smart Growth Centre have been completed in Nkandla, while the Malenge irrigation scheme, consisting of 199 beneficiaries, has been assisted with inputs to resuscitate production, and is currently working on 280 hectares of land, producing vegetables and grain crops.

A total of 50 hectares of dry beans have been planted at Nhlahleni, while 200 hectares of maize and sunflower production was established for 120 beneficiaries.

In the Free State, two crSches and clinics have been built in both Diyatalawa and Makholokoeng, including a school in Diyatalawa, while three hydroponic tunnels are erected for intensive tomato production in Makholokoeng.

Another success of the CRDP was the 258 vegetable gardens constructed in Mhlonto in the Eastern Cape. At least 15 of these gardens are selling to local retail shops. Also, 600 hectares of maize has been planted and two Agri-Parks were established in Idutywa and Alice.