Mpumalanga Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration Head of Department Ms Nelisiwe Sithole on a roadshow to Provincial Comprehensive Rural Development Strategy (CRDP) municipalities
1 Oct 2012
The Head of Department (HOD) of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration (DARDLA) Ms Nelisiwe Sithole visited all seven Provincial Comprehensive Rural Development Strategy (CRDP) Municipalities in the month of September during a roadshow that was aimed at unpacking the content of the approved CRDP Strategy. The Strategy, approved by the Provincial Executive Council on 22 August 2012, saw its implementation with effect from 1 September 2012. The DARDLA has been mandated to coordinate and lead the CRDP in the province.
Making a presentation before Councillors in the Mkhondo Local Municipality’s Council Chambers during the roadshow, Ms Sithole said “municipalities will no longer be the same, we want to see a turnaround in as far as service delivery is concerned through the implementation of the CRDP Strategy. Our Cooperatives need to be empowered and capacitated, they need our support”, the HOD alluded.
The Strategy advocates for the roll out of CRDP in all the wards under the seven municipalities. “The strategy says 30% of our budgets on procurement should remain with the rural communities, the cooperatives in particular”, the HOD added. While in Bushbuckridge the HOD said, “For the people of Bushbuckridge to benefit from the CRDP programs, we as departments must at all times source services from our local people. The time of moving outside the municipality to procure services that is available here, has come to an end, and it is us as Departments that will end this poverty that has engulfed Bushbuckridge communities”.
During the roadshows Ms Sithole engaged Council of Stakeholders (COS) and Councillors, explaining what the Strategy talks to, who stands to benefit from it and the role to be played by local structures to make the Strategy work.
She encouraged local structures to be active and mobilise local communities into discussing issues of development around their areas. “The CRDP coordinators from the various departments are expected to help the community members to identify potential business opportunities within their departments in order to start cooperatives that will help them combat poverty and unemployment, alluded the HOD.
“This forum, the COSs, is not meant to discuss problems faced by locals. Problems should be raised, discussed and get sorted at local level, at a Ward for example. When you come to the COSs meeting, you come to report about the progress that has been made in sorting out whatever challenge you facing in your ward. That is why it is very important to have clear structures, represented by relevant people who are willing to lead”, Sithole said.
Members of Mayoral Committee responsible for the Local Economic Development (LED) were urged to be hands on the implementation of the CRDP since it is based on their programs such as the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
Responding to the HOD’s presentation, the COSs appreciated the sterling job that the department has done and for continuously advocating the CRDP strategy.
The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme is strategic priority number 3 within government’s current Medium Term Strategic Framework. It is implemented under Outcome 7 which strives for Vibrant, Equitable, Sustainable Rural Communities and Food Security for all.
The CRDP was first piloted in Donkerhoek in the Mkhondo Municipality in 2009. The programme has since been expanded to six other local municipalities in the province, which are Nkomazi, Dr JS Moroka, Chief Albert Luthuli, Bushbuckridge, Thembisile Hani and Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme. Plans are underway to have the programme rolled out in all the wards that are under the CRDP municipalities.
Issued by: Mpumalanga Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration
1 Oct 2012
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