Maverick Citizen

Maverick Citizen: Limpopo

Little progress in Muyexe a decade after presidential project launched

Agreement Nkuna woke up at 4am to line up 24 empty containers at the communal tap so she could be among the first in line when the water pumps are opened. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba/Mukurukuru Media)

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.

A boy helps his brother draw water at a communal borehole in Muyexe. Residents walk long distances using wheelbarrows and donkey carts to fetch water from boreholes. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

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. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

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. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

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. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

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”.

A grader at work in Muyexe after workers were forced to down tools as part of the Covid-19 lockdown. Not much has been achieved since the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme was introduced at the village in 2009. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

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.

A project to light up the streets of Muyexe through solar power remains incomplete more than 10 years after it was first introduced as part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

Sadly, it’s quite obvious that there has been very little progress with the project in Muyexe since it was initiated 11 years ago.

Although Muyexe is connected to the electricity grid its residents have no access to piped water on their properties. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)
Cattle are herded home at sunset in Muyexe where they survive despite harsh conditions with a lack of grazing and water. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)
What was supposed to be a multi-purpose sports centre in Muyexe lies in ruins due to vandalism and incomplete work. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)
Member of the road committee Violet Mathebula says residents are frustrated by the slow pace of the (Comprehensive Rural Development Programme project. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)
Residents make sure to keep water in myriad containers because the water supply from the boreholes in the area is erratic. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

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

Mukurukuru Media

Gallery