The Mpumalanga Provincial Government appointed MRTT to offer training for rural community members in construction related programmes within seven Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) sites in the Province. The identified sites are mainly those municipalities which are regarded as the most rural and poorest in terms of education and unemployment. These site selected are located in the following municipalities:
- Mkhondo local municipality
- Dr JS Moroka local municipality
- Chief Albert Luthul local municipality
- Nkomazi local municipality
- Thembisile Hani local municipality
- Bushbuckridge local municipality
- Pixley ka Seme local municipality
Training started in April 2011 and is still on-going on an annual basis. The training was divided into two phases:
- Phase 1: Off-job training of which the process took 4 months to be completed.
- Phase 11: On-job training (work-place training) which will also take 4 months to be completed.
The skills programmes that are offered included the following:
- Bricklaying, Plastering & Tiling
- Painting & Carpentry
- Plumbing & Electrical.
SELECTION OF BENEFICIARIES:
Beneficiaries of the project are identified by Councillors from the affected areas without making use of any selection criteria. This process used by Local Councillors turned to be most a very challenging exercise as it created problems throughout the duration of the training. Despite any discrepancy, each benefitting municipality nominated 90 learners to go through the programme. Each skills trade would cater 15 learners facilitated by one facilitator/ practitioner.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON CRDP THE PROJECT
The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) is aimed at being an effective response against poverty and food insecurity by maximising the use and management of natural resources to create vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities. A CRDP must improve the standards of living and welfare but also rectify past injustices through rights –based interventions and address skewed patterns of distribution and ownership of wealth and assets. The strategic objective of the CRDP is therefore to facilitate integrated development and social cohesion through participatory approaches in partnership with all sectors of society.
The vision of the CRDP is to create vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities which include the following: contributing to the redistribution of 30% of the country’s agricultural land; improving food security of the rural poor; creation of business opportunities, de-congesting and rehabilitation of over-crowded former homeland areas; and expanding opportunities for women, youth, people with disabilities and older persons who stay in rural areas.
The ultimate vision of creating vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities will be achieved through a three-pronged strategy based on:
- A coordinated and integrated broad-based agrarian transformation;
- Strategically increasing rural development; and
- An improved land reform programme.
Based on this background, the Mpumalanga Provincial Government instructed all government departments to participate in the national cry for implementation of the CRDP. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDLA) was mandated as a Lead Department for this programme. Other role-players include the private sector; the farming community, institutions such as MEGA, MRTT, NGOs, CBOs, Traditional Authorities and any other structures that have interest in uplifting the standard of living of rural communities.