The village of Lubala in the Eastern Cape, has experienced positive changes over the past few years.
In 2008, when the War on Poverty campaign was launched, the village was chosen as one of the pilot sites to help improve the lives of residents.
At the time, the village was among the country’s most poverty-stricken areas and faced challenges such as a lack of basic services, high illiteracy rate, no access to primary health care services and lack of access to proper roads.
Based on the findings of the household profiling that was carried out in Lubala, government departments made commitments, some of which have been fulfilled and some are still a work in progress.
Some six years later, the situation has improved and the village is on the mend.
Access to education
An early child development (ECD) centre and Grade R classroom was built by the Department of Roads and Public Works. The Department of Social Development provides funding for the ECD centre. SASSA also provided school uniforms to about 57 school learners.
Eskom, together with Ingquza Hill Municipality, ensured that houses in the area have electricity.
The Department of Water Affairs drilled three boreholes to ensure ground water harvesting. The municipality also started building bulk water infrastructure in Lubala and neighbouring villages.
The community is also using water tanks provided by Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. The installation of taps is still in progress.
The Department of Human Settlements has started building 91 houses and to date 21 houses have been completed.
The village will also get a community hall, which is being built by the Office of the Premier.
Creating of decent work
In an effort to encourage the community of Lubala to be self-reliant, government has embarked on a number of initiatives.
The Department of Labour registered a number of people, particularly the youth, as job seekers on the Employment Services System South Africa. Currently, 25 residents are participating in the household contractor programme, receiving a monthly stipend.
Community members have also been employed to help with the construction of the infrastructure for the bulk water supply to Lubala, while others were employed as part of builders training programme of Department of Roads and Public Works.
Rural Development and social relief
The Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform have supported the community with seedlings, garden implements, wheelbarrows, tanks, fencing of household gardens and ploughing fields. It also provided technical support during the construction of boiler units for the local poultry project.
The Department of Social Development has also assisted with initiation grant funding for this project, while the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs helped fund the erection of boiler units.
With the help of the Department of Education students were placed on an in-service training contract. These students have since graduated and are now undergoing in-service training at department and receive a R5 000 stipend.
Twenty farmers were also trained in poultry and vegetable production.
Statistics South Africa trained five auxiliary social workers, three community development practitioners, four auxiliary community development practitioners, five social workers and 17 social development officials.
* Ndyebo Kopo works for the Department of Communications in the Eastern Cape.
For more information, contact the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: 0800 007 095