Plan to boost rural development

MPUMALANGA is set to undergo massive development to improve infrastructure - ranging from schools, electricity, roads, unemployment and disease.

MPUMALANGA is set to undergo massive development to improve infrastructure - ranging from schools, electricity, roads, unemployment and disease.

This was the pledge by Premier David Mabuza in his policy and budget speech at the provincial legislature on Tuesday. He said his government would put together a rural development strategy linked to land and agricultural reform.

Mabuza said this would include food security as well as encouraging the community to go back to working the land and support the government "Asibuyele Emasimini" (Let's go back to the ploughing fields) programme.

A day after the delivery of his speech, Mabuza visited the communities of Emahashini, Donkershoek and KwaNgema, all rural areas in the Piet Retief.

"I know this area has serious problems related to lack of houses, water, electricity and many other challenges. I also know that unemployment is rife, more especially for people who live on the farms," Mabuza said yesterday.

The entire provincial cabinet visited these areas "so that together with the provincial government we can successfully pilot the rural development in the areas".

He said this was the strategy that rested on the pillars of partnerships, integrated planning, skills development, sustainable utilisation of resources and comprehensive support to vulnerable individuals.

The communities told Mabuza that during rainy days children didn't go to school as they were forced to walk more than 20km a single trip.

At least 200 pupils use the Mpumalanga scholar transport but many children were still suffering.

The areas do not have health facilities and have a high number of HIV-Aids infection as well as many child-headed families.

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