Minister Muthambi to check rural development progress

Pretoria - Communications Minister Faith Muthambi will visit the Mhinga Royal Council and the nearby traditional leaders as part of the government’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP).

Minister Muthambi is scheduled to start her two-day visit on Friday in Malamulele by visiting the Royal Council of Mhinga, which borders Kruger National Park along the Punda Maria gate. She will also visit seven more traditional leaders of Makuleke, Nthlaveni, Xikundu, Xigalo, Madonsi, Gidjana and Mtititi.

On Saturday, the Minister will visit the traditional leaders of Mavambe, Mahonisi, Mulamula, Mudavula, Xigamani and Mphambo.

“As government, we value the importance of traditional leaders in our communities. Just like our ward councillors, traditional leaders exist to serve the people… They are there not only to listen to the needs of the people but they are also there to promote what is right for their respective communities.

“In 2009, Cabinet approved the CRDP, which aims to mobilise and empower rural communities to take initiatives aimed at controlling their own destiny, with the support of government,” Minister Muthambi said.

She said the goal of CRDP is to achieve social cohesion and development by ensuring improved access to basic services, enterprise development and village industrialisation.

“The success of CRDP relies heavily on the participation of other departments in all three tiers of government and the involvement of relevant stakeholders, not least the villagers themselves.

“This in turn will ensure that the vision of creating vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities is realised, and the bleak image that haunts rural areas will finally be eradicated,” she said.

The Minister said in all the villages where the CRDP is being implemented – such as one of the poorest villages in the country, Muyexe, outside Giyani – a sense of vibrancy is evident, and villagers are now fostering a spirit of unity and togetherness.

In his 2009 State Of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma stressed the importance of improving the lives of rural dwellers when he said: “For as long as there are rural dwellers unable to make a decent living from the land on which they live… we shall not rest and we dare not falter in our drive to eradicate poverty.”