During the report-back meeting are, from left to right, Chief Tshikhusese Nelson Makuya, Mr Rendani Lalumbe, Chief Livhuwani Matsila, Thovhele Lavhelesani Ntswetheni Makuya and Mr Nndwakhulu Wilfred Nemaheni.
Unemployed people at Makuya stand to gain meaningful employment.
The area, some kilometres from Thohoyandou, was hard hit when Tshikondeni mine closed shop and many locals lost their jobs. This will, however, soon be history.
A massive, multimillion-rand development is in the pipeline and could soon be taking shape in the area. Quite a sizeable number of employment opportunities are set to be created in the rural area, easing poverty and underdevelopment in the area.
Last year, the Makuya Traditional Authority under senior traditional leader Thovhele Lavhelesani Makuya initiated some networking sessions with Chief Livhuwani Matsila of Matsila outside Louis Trichardt. Matsila, whose Matsila Development Trust initiated projects that created employment for more than 500 of his subjects, has been on a campaign to assist other traditional leaders in terms of development.
His projects have become a beacon of hope for the rural masses and are regarded as one of the best models of rural development. His effort has been hailed as a symbol of black excellence by Pres Cyril Ramaphosa. The projects have attracted many esteemed visitors, among them traditional leaders from all over the country who have come to learn.
The project circles around the establishment of the Makuya game-farming project, the establishment of tourist-attraction projects, the construction of a cultural village, job creation, skills development and local economic development, including ecotourism. Chief Matsila assisted in the drafting of the business plan that was submitted to the government.
The proposal was approved, and the implementation stage can start at any given time.
On Tuesday, an ecstatic Thovhele Lavhelesani Makuya and his chiefs were overjoyed to receive a letter of approval and they invited all the community stakeholders to share the good news. Chief Matsila was also invited and received accolades for having assisted the community. "We are very excited that as a community that we have reached this stage. I was very concerned and worried when Tshikondeni Mine closed here, leaving many of my subjects jobless. That was when we decided to approach Matsila to share with us his development strategies. He has been of great help to this community and we lack words to thank him.”
Makuya further indicated that he was very happy that many would gain part-time and full-time employment as the project kicked off.
Matsila, who has visited and shared his vision with other traditional leaders, said he was humbled that the journey they started together last year had finally paid off. "Mine is service to the people, and this has become part of my life. I do not expect any reward for this as I do it on a voluntary basis. The best payment that will make me happy is that many of the unemployed get employed at the project and I am still available to help," he said.
The project is funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Date:12 November 2018 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.