/ 1 January 2002

San to get R2,5m development package

The National Development Agency (NDA) will spend R2,5-million in an effort to improve the lives of the San communities of the Kalahari and Schmidtsdrift in the Northern Cape.

The NDA said on Sunday the funding would be channelled through the South African San Institute and was intended to enhance community leadership and management capacity.

NDA chief executive Delani Mthembu announced the disbursement on Saturday at Dithakong Village near Kuruman. He was attending the celebration of the first anniversary of government’s Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme.

The 10-year rural development programme was launched by President Thabo Mbeki last year.

Mthembu also handed over a cheque for nearly R400 000 to the Pretty Javu Integrated Energy Centre in Dithakong, which was officially launched by Minister of Minerals and Energy Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the same event.

The NDA said the centre empowered the community through the provision of energy-related information and the sale of energy products. The centre also featured the first community-owned fuel station in the country.

At last count, the fuel station was owned by 1 771 members scattered across 10 villages in the area, each of whom capitalised the venture at R120 per annum.

It said the centre was one of the key components of the development programme in the Kgalagadi District, a cross-border municipality spanning the North West and Northern Cape provinces with Kuruman the main urban centre.

The NDA’s regional manager for the Western and Northern Cape, Anne Emmett, said the NDA planned to develop a post-land restitution development model through its involvement with the San and the institute in the Northern Cape.

”We know, based on a number of studies and our own experience on the ground that little has changed in terms of the quality of life of many new land owners. We believe, therefore, attention must be given to land-based livelihood policies and strategies,” she said.

Emmett said the funding would concentrate on building leadership development, transferring business and agricultural skills, and be used for early childhood development, women and youth.

”Ultimately, we want to enhance the San’s own capacity to be active, equal and leading participants in their own development,” she said. – Sapa