R5m project to empower women

UMZUMBE municipality on the South Coast has committed itself to giving rural women a slice of the 2010 economic opportunities.

The municipality has made R5million available to kick-start a craft project.

The women will be taught to make crafts ranging from beadwork to washing baskets made from grass.

The finished works will be sold to visitors who will flock to the area for the prestigious 2010 events and beyond.

The municipality will also provide the poverty-stricken women - whose land is rich in agricultural produce and has beautiful beaches - with a shelter to trade from.

The centre is built in a strategically central place, which is frequented by tourists.

Umzumbe mayor Sydney Gumede said he was excited that the women, who are faced with the challenge of putting food on the table, will earn a living through the project.

"This investment will make a lot of families sustainable without depending on handouts," he said.