Siyabuswa – Premier David Mabuza is expected to get his hands dirty and help renovate an old college and some crèches after the official launch of the second phase of Mpumalanga’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP).
The CRDP will be rolled out to six additional municipalities at the Senotlelo Sports Ground in Siyabuswa on Friday.
“Members of the provincial cabinet will join the premier as he kick-starts the programme by renovating a number of early childhood development centres and the [local] Marapyane College,” said provincial agriculture, rural development and land administration spokeswoman Janine Julies.
Julies said the premier would also help mill grain at the Nokaneng Mill in Nokaneng village over the weekend.
The CRDP is an integrated programme that focuses on the provision of water, electricity, housing, agrarian projects and job creation, among others, in rural areas.
The roll-out of the programme to additional municipalities follows a pilot phase that was launched in the Mkhondo local municipality in Piet Retief in 2009.
During his State of the Province Address in February, Mabuza promised that the programme would be rolled-out to the Nkomazi, Chief Albert Luthuli, Pixley Ka Seme, Dr J.S Moroka and Thembisile Hani local municipalities.
“The provincial government promised to run the pilot project in Piet Retief for a period of two years, after which it would be rolled out to other parts of the province. March this year marked the end of the two-year period,” said Mabuza.
Mabuza said the provincial government was not happy with the pilot project’s performance, but said the trial-and-error had provided the provincial government with a new approach.
“Experience has taught us that for the programme to have a huge impact on the lives of the people, we need to improve in proper planning, community mobilisation, effective institutional arrangements and strong monitoring and evaluation systems,” he said.
Mabuza said for the programme to succeed, his government would improve the provision of targeted technical and financial support as well as fostering an integrated approach, especially with the participation of all role players.
“As we roll out this project, job creation will be at the centre of our activities. We will upscale the Masibuyele Emasimini (Back to farming) programme and increase the number of extension officers to support this programme,” said Mabuza. – Siphiwe Nyathi, BuaNews