By Emmanuel Koro
The Tshwane North-based Sokhulumi Community is arguably one of the places where we can learn that with government commitment and support, fast rural development is possible.
Once without water electricity, roads, toilets, a multi-purpose centre (MPCC) and a sports facility, the Sokhulumi Community residents now have all of them.
With Niko’s Bar and informal soccer fields without lawns and even water and toilet facilities as the only spaces of recreation and socialising they had ever known it seems the more than 6 000 Sokhulumi residents where not going anywhere, in terms of economic development.
Fortunately, all this changed on Saturday 13 November 2017, when the Gauteng MEC for Department of Sports and Culture Faith Azbuka handed over to this friendly and peaceful Ndebele Community an approximately R40 million MPCC, funded by Gauteng Department of Infrastructure and an approximately R8 million National Department of Rural Development funded sports facility.
The most important thing is that the Community now has full control to use and manage these two big facilities, to meet its cultural and sporting needs, for the first since their completion about four and two year ago, respectively.
“We are going to seize the opportunities to create socioeconomic benefits from the use of the two felicities, working together with different partners of the South African society, particularly government institutions,” said Mr Emmanuel Nakedi, Senior Secretary for the Amandebele Ndzundnza Sokhulumi Tribal Council, Gauteng Province.
The handover of the two recreational and cultural facilities was marked with celebrations that included the slaughter of different types of livestock including cattle, donated by local farmers, with government paying for other foods and catering services. Soccer and netball matches were also played to mark the celebration.
The MPCC will be used for public meetings and events; venue to receive social grants venue for a South Africa Police Service (SAPS) satellite office and venue for a crèche. The sports facility has a soccer and rugby pitch, tennis and basketball court, grand stand, toilet facilities and an administration block.
There is no doubt that Sokhulumi is the fastest growing town in Gauteng, if not in South Africa and will have tarred roads built next year covering 100% of its roads. This new development will almost transform it into a township, seven years since the launch of Gauteng Rural Development Programme in March 2010.
“We have already advertised a tender to build tarred roads in Sokhulumi and the tender has been closed, “said the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Director for Rural Infrastructure Development, Mr Ndivhuwo Ranwedzi.
This would make all Sokhulumi have the public facilities and infrastructure that government can provide to a human settlement, with a post office, police station as the only key services absent there.
Currently Sokhulumi has received private business development projects ranging from a mall, a petrol station, a lodge and private home-based care facility that should be implemented as soon the land for private investments has been allocated