Developing communities

Skills development aids rural development

Creating homes
Housing communities
Improved physical infrastructure, social cohesion and physical security within rural communities is an active representation of local political processes and effective provision for the vulnerable. 

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has launched several programmes in rural areas, which are meant to ensure skills development and transfer to benefit and develop the local communities.  As such, there has been a substantial increase in the overall housing delivery within rural areas in recent years. KZN is a predominantly rural province and, as such, there is a greater need for accelerated provision of houses and 
skills development. 

A total of 26 328 housing units had been completed, benefiting approximately 118 476 individuals accommodated by rural housing stock, and thereby affording housing to the destitute in rural areas. 

“Our purpose as the Department of Human Settlements is to create an enabling environment for the development of sustainable human settlements in partnership with stakeholders to improve the quality of life for all in KwaZulu-Natal,” added Govender.
The KZN Provincial Department of Human Settlement and Public Works introduced the Emerging Contractor Policy Framework. The department said emerging contractors played a significant role in housing delivery, in that they employed general and semi-
skilled labour. 

The objectives of the framework are to develop a pool of housing entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged groups, who will ensure the creation of sustainable human settlements. The framework will further facilitate an environment that will ensure the advancement of emerging contractors to fully fledged contractors 
and developers. 

Skills development will focus on training and mentoring on construction management and enterprise development. The department will work in partnership with the National Home Builders Registration Council and the Construction Industry Development Board in order to facilitate placement and mentoring of emerging contractors in housing projects. 

The provincial department said in addressing the plight of the emerging contractors, that the programme would alleviate poverty and contribute meaningfully toward accelerating housing delivery in KZN, thus contributing to the economic growth of South Africa as 
a whole.

The National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) is yet another aspect of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) whereby 8 000 young people nationwide have been selected and trained to be future 
community leaders. 

The South African government aims to create up to 10 000 job opportunities in the country’s rural areas through the CRDP, which will see unemployed youths being put to work in their communities after undergoing an intensive two-year training programme. Once they have completed the course, they will return to their respective rural communities where they will use their skills to build their village infrastructure requirements.

Launched by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, the programme targets people in South Africa’s remotest rural areas, including those living with disabilities who are between the ages of 18 to 35 and who have passed Grade 10.
The department’s head of communication services Eddie Mohoebi said the NARYSEC is a two-year programme aimed at empowering rural youngsters from each of the 3 000 rural wards across the country. 

“The recently developed NARYSEC will complement the department’s job creation model, which targets and ensures at least one person per household in the rural areas where the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme is being piloted, gets employed for two years with an employment linked to skills training,” he explained. 
Mohoebi added that the job creation and skills development programme was in line with the department’s rural development mandate to create vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities throughout South Africa.

A total of 7 398 youth were enrolled in the programme in 2010. The enrolment number will gradually increase by recruiting a further 5 000 youth during 2011/12 and a further 10 000 during the 2012/13 financial year.

The government is committed to ensuring it develops rural areas by encouraging participation by the communities. This will ensure ownership and the development of skills transfer. 

Charity Dakamela
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This edition

Issue 58