Vhembe District Municipality
The Vhembe District Municipality is working towards increasing activities that contribute towards Limpopo Province’s economic growth.
Key development objectives
Key facts and figures
Creating opportunities for SMME s
What is the municipality doing in support of SMME development in the area?
Tell us about some of the community initiatives the municipality is involved with?
The district has funded community projects to create jobs and end poverty. A case study that we are very proud of is the Awelani Community and Cultural Tourism project, which is located at Ha-Mutele in Mutale Local Municipality. The Mapate community project will also soon be developed. The municipality is indeed accomplishing its mission statement.
What are the municipality’s 2012 goals?
Executive mayor Florence Dzhombere received an honours in Public Administration from the University of Limpopo. She served as a municipal councillor and portfolio head of Vhembe district technical services before becoming the executive mayor. Politically she has risen through the ranks of the ANC Youth League, ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and the ANC. She is currently the regional chairperson of the ANCWL, the regional deputy secretary of the ANC and she has just been elected the provincial deputy secretary of the ANC.
New fresh produce market opened
The market, which is situated in Tshakhuma Village in the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM), was developed in order to enable farmers to transport their products to the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market (JFPM). This project was initiated by way of request. This request came from emerging farmers who were facing challenges such as:
The purpose of establishing the fresh produce market was to enhance market opportunities, which in turn will result in improved agricultural activity for all farmers in the district.
The following are project-specific objectives:
The success in the establishment of this fresh produce market can be directly attributed to the partnerships that were established through memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with stakeholders such as the European Union (EU), Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA), JFPM and the Tshakhuma Tribal Council. More specifically, the contributions by the
aforementioned parties can be summarised as:
The Vhembe Fresh Produce Market was officially opened on 23 November 2011 by the VDM executive mayor, councillor Florence Dzhombere. It is estimated that the market will create at least 35 direct jobs and over 2 000 indirect jobs.
Awelani community ecotourism lodge
In 2006, the local economic development (LED) department of the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) was approached by the Mutele community, under Chief Mutele, with a request to develop a community lodge. The LED manager realised the potential a community tourism business opportunity carried in terms of alleviating poverty and improving the local economy. The VDM then allocated R30-million over a period of three years towards the development of this facility.
The lodge, which is now complete, is located at Ha-Mutele Village, in the Mutale Municipality of the Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo Province. The lodge is situated 12km from the Pafuri Gate of the Kruger National Park on the R525. It is strategically located next to the Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The villages located around the project that are also benefiting from the added tourism spurred on by the project are:
The surrounding area of the lodge will be declared a nature reserve as per agreement with the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) as it is 1 780 hectares and thus large enough to be declared as such. The DEA has donated over R1-million towards the project. In addition to the DEA, the VDM is also partnering with the Italian government through CESV-LTP, which has contributed over R1-million as well.
A management company has been appointed to operate the lodge and it has indicated that the lodge was scheduled to open in April 2012. The lodge has a conference hall that can accommodate 150 delegates. The lodge will initially create employment opportunities for 20 fulltime, permanent employees.
Investing in the province’s economic well-being
Ratakuwa Concrete Cooperative is an initiative of Vhembe District Municipality in its attempt to respond to the Millennium Development Goals, specifically in response to goals one and seven. Vhembe District Municipality took the challenge of the backlog in sanitation and turned it into an opportunity through initiating this project. This opportunity can contribute towards eradicating some of the extreme poverty in the area through job creation in terms of the manufacturing of precast toilets that are used in the sanitation programme of the municipality and other municipalities in the province. At the same time, Vhembe District Municipality is addressing goal seven: ensuring environmental sustainability by providing its poor citizens and those of other municipalities with safe and decent sanitation.
Vhembe District Municipality has partnered with ROCLA, a leading manufacturer of precast in the country and Africa, in the establishment of the concrete factory for Ratakuwa Concrete Cooperative. The municipality spent R4-million on the state-of-the-art factory in terms of construction and equipment. ROCLA supplied the necessary technology on a franchise basis. ROCLA is further supporting the co-operative in terms of the training of the management team and guaranteeing the quality of the products. There are many other institutions that are involved in this project. The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is also providing training and mentoring of the co-operative staff.
Ratakuwa Concrete Cooperative is owned by 40 former Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants who never received the opportunity to be integrated into the South African National Defence Force or haven’t found any alternative work opportunities since the 1994 democratic breakthrough.
Currently Ratakuwa employs 79 people. All employees are youth and 60% are women. The Ratakuwa project has also employed people in the construction of the toilets in households. This project is also supporting other small businesses in Vhembe. Transport companies are used to deliver the complete toilet panels to site of construction, and some are contracted to supply sand and concrete to the factory and to the construction sites. Through this project Vhembe District Municipality is initiating a constructor development programme where people will be trained in construction management and at least 14 constructors will be developed annually. At full capacity Ratakuwa is going to employ 300 people.
To date Ratakuwa has completed 500 toilets in Mutale Municipality where the beneficiaries are so happy that the neighbors who received brick toilets are complaining. The former Umkhonto we Sizwe members at Ratakuwa are proud that they are contributing to job creation and service delivery to their communities.