But as the rural development programme’s two-year term comes to an end, one wonders if it has achieved its aim of creating jobs and turning the village into a semi-township.
Some say Muyexe village is now blooming with residents having access to services never available to them before.
In 2009, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, introduced rural development projects in the village as part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). This brought about services mostly found in urban areas.
Thanks to developments such as libraries, clinics, a satellite police station, free Internet and many others, the village resembles a semi-urban area where residents enjoy an abundance of services at their fingertips. Improvements also include a post office with banking services.
“We have Internet facilities, a library and various other facilities such as a police station, a sports ground and many more which other villages don’t have,” said a clearly satisfied resident, Amukelani Baloyi.
Another resident, Tsakani Maluleke, received an RDP house and a free energy-generating solar device distributed free to houses without electricity. “I feel government has done enough already. By the time they install electricity in this area, we would have benefited twice, thanks to the solar systems,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Mancena agricultural project is blooming after a boost from government. According to project manager Maria Ngoveni, Mancena has grown from a small non-commercial venture to a big enterprise that can produce a steady supply of various vegetables for sale in supermarkets such as Spar in Giyani.
When it comes to creating stable jobs, some people feel that government has not done enough yet, since most of the jobs created were temporary. “You can’t support your family with a three-month job that feeds your family today and leaves them hungry tomorrow,” said Portia Maluleke, a single mother of three.
According to a progress report by Louis Mabunda of Giyani Municipality released last year 2010, 535 jobs were created, most of them temporary. The report also revealed that only four people secured permanent employment from the project at the time of release.
However, new developments currently under construction are expected to create new permanent jobs. These include a sports centre and a fence circling the fields.
There’s also a water purifying project that will be coming in,” said Mabunda. He said the project had been expanded to include other villages in the Giyani area such as Gon’on’o and Dingamazi.