Rural upliftment project fails
'These people just want salaries, but when they have to do the work, they aren't happy'
A R500,000 vegetable growing project aimed at providing food and jobs for one of the poorest areas in the North West has failed.
Only one of the staff members originally tasked with looking after the project was still on the premises.
A few years ago, the Tosca project was one of six vegetable tunnel enterprises that the Dr Ruth Mompati municipality spent R3 million on.
Kenny Ntshandase, municipal director of economic development, said the project and similar projects failed for several reasons.
“We provided the money for a start-up opportunity, with the aim being that the recipients would generate a profit, maintain the project and save a portion of the profits to reinvest and do the necessary repairs.
“These people just want salaries, but when they have to do the work, they aren’t happy,” he said.
After a storm destroyed the tunnels three years ago, there was no money available for repairs, as the project beneficiaries had been arguing amongst themselves about how profits would be shared.
Local resident Giel Theron, a former town council member, said part of the problem was a lack of mentorship, supervision, and expertise.