ATC090825: Report Rural Development Programme: Muyexe, Giyani District Municipality
Report of the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs on the Presidential Launch of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme: Muyexe, Giyani District Municipality in Limpopo Province dated 25 August 2009
Introduction and background
The Select Committee: Land and Environmental Affairs, was invited by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, to attend the official launch of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, on the 17 August 2009. The programme was launched at the pilot site in Muyexe in the Greater Giyani District Municipality in the Limpopo province. A delegation was selected to represent the SC: Land and Environmental Affairs at the launch, which included Members of Parliament, Honourable Mokgoro (ANC) and Honourable Worth (DA) together with the Content Advisor (Deshni Pillay).
The Muyexe village was selected for the pilot project due to the high levels of poverty, unemployment and under development. The Greater Giyani District is classified as a rural municipality with the main challenge being access to water. The area is characterised by a dry and hot climate. Basic services like access to safe drinking water, sanitation, health services and transportation are unavailable. Since the selection of the site for piloting the Comprehensive Rural Development Strategy, there has been an increase in economic activity and interest from developmental agencies. The Independent Development Trust (IDT) has been closely involved in several projects within the Muyexe village, by initiating construction projects thereby empowering the marginalised community.
During the launch of the programme several projects were show-cased, these included:
· The Nene family house
· Primary and Secondary School renovation project
· Muyexe Hospital
· Community Center
· Macena Community Farm
Site visits to the different projects
The original Nene home was a traditional hut and after an exceptionally harsh storm in January 2008 the house was destroyed leaving the family vulnerable. A further tragedy was the death of the father in February of the same year. The 11 occupants were destitute and appealed to the government officials for assistance. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform together with the IDT then committed to building a six-bedroomed house for the family. The house is a brick-house with an adjoining vegetable garden and proposed orchard to ensure that the household has access to food and becomes sustainable. The current challenge is having access to water to start the food garden as water availability is limited to the rainy season and the high levels of nitrates in the water decreases its quality. Currently the area is experiencing a drought and this has further contributed to the poverty in the community.
The two schools in the area have been renovated and toilets have been built as part of the programme. There are no flush toilets but running water is now available. Previously the schools had no sanitation facilities and now there is limited access to taps and ventilated pit latrines.
The old visitors centre has now been upgraded to replace the mobile hospital that visited the village once a month. The proposed plans for the hospital include a staff quarters so that the clinic/hospital can be accessible 24 hours a day by the community. The Department of Heath has now dedicated one permanent nursing sister to service the clinic. Currently the newly renovated building has several consulting rooms and the clinic is relatively well stocked for consultations. No antiretrovirals are currently available at the clinic/hospital.
The Muyexe Community Centre is currently being built and the project is contributing to the employment of the village. Both men and women are employed and each household is represented by one member, so that the benefits of employment can be equitable. The proposed computer facilities for the village will also be located in the building. The service will include a virtual learning portal for school learners and teachers. Other government service centres will also be housed in this building.
The Macena Community farm comprises of a group of 36 women farmers assisted by the Organic Farms group and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to produce organic vegetables for the local Spar supermarket in Giyani. The farmers receive very limited support from the Department of Agriculture and recently lost their tomato crop to red spider mite infestation. The farm is 15 ha but only 4 ha are being used productively. The plans to expand the infrastructure to include a pack-house, storage facility and shade-cloth nursery are underway. The challenge for the group is proper expertise and advice on extension services and production.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is required to report to the Committee on a quarterly basis on the progress of each of the implementation plans of the two pilot projects, especially regarding the co-ordination of activities with other Departments and local structures (i.e. regional offices, provincial departments and local authorities).
· The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is required to provide the committee with quarterly progress reports on the Comprehensive Rural Development Strategy and implementation plan with milestones achieved over for the financial year and MTEF period.
· The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to report within two months of adoption of the report by the house on the extent that alternative energy sources and specifically green design options for solar energy that have been implemented in the design of the houses for the rural development projects.
· The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is required to report within two months of adoption of the report by the house on the status of access to free basic water within the Greater Giyani District Municipality, with specific reference to the dam and the bulk infrastructure within the area.
· The municipality is required to report within two months of adoption of the report by the house on the progress made in providing water and sanitation services to the constituency of Muyexe.
· The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to report within two months of adoption of the report by the house on the public participation process followed during the implementation of the pilot project within the Muyexe village.
Report to be considered.
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