Only five people have a job

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

Maruping in North West is so underdeveloped that its residents have lost hope.

Though the village, which has more than 400 households, is a only few kilometres from the province's capital, Mmabatho, most of its people are poor and unemployed.

Tsietsi Monareng, a community developer, said only five people in Maruping had permanent jobs in the area.

When a Sowetan team and officials from the Department of Home Affairs visited the village to donate clothes, they got lost.

Finding Maruping is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is hidden in forest and thick bush.

The village has no electricity, no clinics, no schools and no sanitation. There is only one primary school, more than 6km away.

A brick-making project was the only hope for development and making ends meet at the village. But the project collapsed before it began. There is not a single brick house in the village.

The people use anything they can lay their hands on to make shelter for themselves.

Some depend on government grants to sustain their families, but most are unable to get grants because they do not have birth certificates.

"Eating bread is a luxury for us," said Maria Ditefo, 32, a mother of three who lives with seven family members.

Only their grandmother has a South African ID, but she does not get a social grant.

"Many women in the village give birth to stillborns because the clinic is far away. What we want are basic things like water, clinics, schools and electricity," said Monareng.

Just a stone's throw away from Maruping is the conservative town of Ottoshoop.

Jennifer Monareng, an ANC ward councillor at Maruping, said the predominantly white residents of Ottoshoop are also struggling to make ends meet.