Official opening of Umbumbulu brand new offices
16 Apr 2011The community of Umbumbulu and the surrounding areas are beneficiaries of a R5 million structure built by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development to be used as its satellite office. The department embarked on a construction of another office in Umbumbulu last year in order to bring its services closer to the people. The department’s newest office was officially opened by MEC Lydia Johnson, today, 16 of April 2010, at Mpandwini Sports ground in Umbumbulu, outside Durban.
Umbumbulu Agricultural office is situated in the South West of Ethekwini District, about 45km from the central business district of Ethekwini. It is in ward 100 under Inkosi KS Makhanya. The office is responsible for rendering agricultural services in 52 wards both in rural and urban areas. It serves communities under 10 Amakhosi.
The beautiful and modern structure is well equipped with the necessary required tools, like laptops, boardrooms and office furniture in order for officials to be able to work efficiently. It’s brand new and within reach for all groups of people. Ithas 28 extension staff who serves 52 wards. It also supports 210 community development projects and drives the departmental programmes like mechanisation, Food Security, Livestock and Mushroom.
The core function of the office is to ensure community participation in these programmes, especially on Food security campaigns like the One Home One Garden and massification projects. The office gives support through ongoing training sessions and demonstrations on crop production, livestock production, and value adding. It also conducts regular consultations with farmers and farmer structures to capacitate them and give an update on departmental programmes.
MEC Johnson urged community leaders to ensure that people work closely with the department and seize empowerment opportunities that have been brought close to them through the local office. “I trust that it becomes a beacon of hope for all communal farmers here and should therefore be utilised to yield positive outcomes for farming in this area. I know that most community members here embrace agricultural activities. I learnt through the Indigenous knowledge Expo last year that there are some cooperatives that are using the indigenous knowledge farming practices, in producing Amadumbe and that is laudable. As the department we want to support such initiatives and more,” said Johnson.
She added that the construction of the office is a 100% response by the department to the Batho Pele principles and a sign of commitment to creating a caring government that is resolute on building a better life for all South Africans by putting the people first. Many other speakers including the local Chief KS Makhanya echoed the same sentiments. Chief Makhanya profusely thanked the department on behalf of the community and assured it of his community’s participation in poverty alleviation programmes.
MEC Johnson cut the ribbon in front of a dancing and ululating crowd with a happy faces.
Tel: 033 343 8063
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Switchboard: 033 343 8240
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Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture, Enviromental Affairs and Rural Development
16 Apr 2011
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