INKOSI WANTs development

"MAYBE, I will have to go to Pietermaritzburg and drag the MECs out of their luxury chairs in the legislature so that they can come and develop my area."

This sentiment was expressed by traditional leader inkosi Mzokhulayo Mkhwanazi of Mpukunyoni in Mtubatuba, northern Zululand.

Mkhwanazi said areas under his jurisdiction are poverty- stricken and ravaged by HIV-Aids.

"I am one traditional leader who is passionate about development. I feel bad when my people live under challenging conditions. To me it does not matter who brings development. I don't look at political colours but want what is best for my people," Mkhwanazi said.

He said the pace of service delivery in many areas under his leadership was very slow and this was of great concern to him.

"My people are poor. The rate of HIV-Aids is escalating. There are no job opportunities. The majority of my people are illiterate and dependent on government grants to put food on the table. This is very worrying.

"I think that maybe I should go and drag the ministers out of their comfort zones to come and bring development to my area," Mkhwanazi said.

He said although some areas under the Mpukunyoni traditional authority have seen some development, the majority were still impoverished.

"I must add that we are happy for those areas that have had some development like electricity and running water, but we are equally unhappy about areas that have seen little or no development at all.

"When people voted and elected leaders, they hoped that their lives would change, but this has not been the case," he said.

Mkhwanazi added that some areas under his leadership still needed to have water and electricity installed while the lack of good roads remained a core challenge for his people.

Local resident Nondumiso Mtshali echoed her inkosi's sentiments.

"Water is something a person cannot live without but in my area, Gunjaneni, we have a big problem - we have no water. Electricity is a luxury we can afford to live without, but not water," she said.