By Lucas Ledwaba
When it was launched in 2009, the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme promised to bring a better life to a Limpopo village called Muyexe. Lucas Ledwaba zooms in with his camera and finds very little has changed a decade later.
Agreement Nkuna yawns in the early morning chill while sitting on one of the two dozen 25-litre sghubus lined up at the communal tap.
She woke up at 04:00 to carry 24 of the sghubus to the communal tap. By mid-morning she is still sitting there with three other elderly women who, like her, wait as the water gurgles slowly into buckets and sghubus.
Johannah Skhelisi lives near one of the communal taps in Muyexe. On days when the water runs from the tap, she is up as early as 3am to fill up containers with drinking water. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)The communal tap is one of several on the wide streets of Muyexe village, where residents, like many who live in rural areas, have no piped water in their homes.
Construction trucks and cattle battle for space in Muyexe as workmen scramble to finish the 8.5km paving project which was initiated more than 10 years ago.
On days like this, when water is pumped from one of the four working boreholes in the village, residents rise early to be first in line at the communal taps.
Matimu Nkuna, Hlantela Mabasa and Pretty Nkuna travel home after filling up their containers at a communal borehole. They make this long trip at least three times a day in order to ensure their households have enough water for drinking and other essential uses In August 2009, the presidency launched the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) right here in this village, about 40 minutes by road to the east of Giyani in Limpopo.
The Muyexe clinic is the only completed projected from the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme launched by The Presidency in 2009. The other projects including the paving of an 8.5km stretch of road, the building of a police station, sport and recreation centre, solar power street lights and provision of piped water remain incomplete The CRDP was touted as a national government project “with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform as a catalyst and a facilitator to ensure rural development takes place at the required depth and scope”. It was meant to address specific needs of communities in rural areas, ranging from clean running water and decent shelter, to proper sanitation and enterprise development support. This was based on three strategic pillars – agrarian transformation, rural development and land reform Sadly, it’s quite obvious that there has been very little progress with the project in Muyexe since it was initiated 11 years ago.
The promised police station remains incomplete and the sports and entertainment complex is little more than a dusty field with overturned goal posts, vandalised change rooms and a concrete perimeter fence. Only now are workmen starting on the proposed tarred road leading to the village.
And residents still spend the better part of their day trudging to the boreholes and communal taps to draw water. DM