IDP meetings to change rural lives

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mutale - Residents living in and around Thohoyandou, Limpopo, are being given a say in the Vhembe district's budgetary plans for the next five years.

The consultation campaign kicked-off with a meeting at the Tshilamba community hall in Mutale on Tuesday morning, followed by Musina in the evening.

"The purpose of the Integrated Development Plan and budget consultation process is [to allow] various community stakeholders to make inputs in the infrastructure development and the service delivery needs within their local areas for the [next] five years," said district municipal manager Masala Makumule.

On Wednesday, the consultation meetings were being held in Makhado.

Acting Vhembe District Mayor Lucas Manyuha said the meetings would help speed up service delivery.

"We want our rural communities and various structures to advise us on the priority projects. We urge communities to attend [the meetings]," said Manyuha.

He added that he was happy to see the Tshilamba community hall packed to capacity.

The mayor also tabled the district's R1.42 billion draft budget for the 2012/13 financial year.

"We are the water services authority responsible for supplying water and sanitation to our poor communities. We have set aside R373 million this financial year to fight scarcity of water and sanitation," added Manyuha.

Mutale Local Municipality Mayor Tshitereke Matibe urged traditional leaders to be on the forefront of rural development as most of the areas in Mutale fall under the leadership of tribal authorities.

Matibe said his municipality had submitted plans to upgrade the Mutale health centre into a hospital.

"Our patients normally suffer when they have to be transferred to hospitals such as Donald Fraser (30km outside Thohoyandou) and Siloam hospital (in Nzhelele village). We also want to refurbish some of our rural clinics," said Matibe.

Rendani Sidze, a community member from Ha-Khakhu village near Mutale, argued that some villagers in the Thulamela municipality were benefiting from many community projects at the exclusion of other villages.

"We want the villages to share rural development projects with others so that services may reach some deep rural communities," said Sidze.