Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Ministers, hon members and guests, the end of apartheid meant the end to restrictions on basic services and basic education, and employment for the black class. The democratically elected ANC government adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, to provide the masses of South Africa, especially the poor and the previously disadvantaged, with basic services such as water, sanitation, housing and health care.
The ANC also noted that poverty, unemployment and inequality are the major challenges that are facing our country. These three challenges must be the central focus of the ANC government to ensure that the basic needs of our society are addressed. Therefore, the department was relevant when initiating the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, CRDP, which is the key thrust of the framework on the integrated development programme of rural development, land reform and agrarian change.
The CRDP was aimed at transforming the social relations to improve the economic and social infrastructure, such as social amenities, facilities and ICT infrastructure. The CRDP is the implementation of Chapter 2 of the South African Constitution, which specifies the rights of the people.
Chairperson, water is a human right, but it was ignored by the apartheid government. The shortage of water is one of the challenges facing rural areas, as they were marginalised. Only the few enjoyed those rights, even if it was one man living on top of the mountain. He had access to water while thousands of people in rural areas were without water, as development was racially based.
The women in rural areas used to carry buckets and walk long distances to fetch water from the rivers and streams, sharing water with animals. Our shoulder bones were dislocated due to rowing, while others had access to clean tap water. The ANC government initiated the CRDP to make water accessible to the rural people. A total of 350 water rollers were delivered in the Eastern Cape. A water purification plant was completed at Empindweni in the Eastern Cape. A total of 166 water tanks were distributed in the Eastern Cape.
What is it that the ANC is failing to do, if it is able to provide water to rural people, who were locked in reserves to fend for themselves without any basic services. in all the provinces? Rural people were totally neglected, as they were shifted to the bush, where there were no toilets. This was the responsibility of the then government, which failed because of their thinking that South Africa belonged to some but not to all the people. Rural people relieved themselves in the bush, which impacted negatively on their health. However, through the ANC government, which is the government of all the people, the dignity of the previously disadvantaged was restored.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 903 households were provided with sanitation. Go to Vryheid where you will see for yourself the 780 VIP units that were built. Is that not a change? While we acknowledge the progress that has been by the ANC government, there is still more to be done. During apartheid some of the people in South Africa enjoyed the right to access electricity while thousands of people in rural areas were without electricity. That is why we have places like Donkerhoek and Dark City because those places were dark. There was no light except for the sun and the moonlight.
The ANC government relieved blacks from the bondage of using paraffin, wood and candles. Currently, most of the rural people have access to electricity, through the CRDP. Go and see for yourself, in Diyatalawa, the streets have got streetlights, as in the towns. In the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West, solar lights were installed in rural households. Those places are no longer dark. There is an improvement, brought about made by the ANC. Those areas will never be the same again. We appreciate the good work that is done by the department. The department must continue to improve the lives of the rural people. [Applause.]
The ANC is making progress in changing the lives of all. I am saying "all", not some of the African people, although there is still more to be done. The ANC is on track. The shortage of skills in the country inhibits growth. The shortage of skills is the legacy of apartheid, as there were few schools - mostly mud schools - in rural areas, and those few were built in selected areas, as the people were not consulted.
It is the ANC government that put a stop to all this suffering by saying that "all people are equal and they have to be treated equally". In Mpumalanga, Mkhondo Local Municipality, there is a place called Emahashini, where learners were sharing the school with livestock. During the day it was a school, at night it was a livestock shed. The department is in the process of changing that situation. People must be patient, as some are saying the horse of the ANC is running slowly. Yes, it can be true, because the ANC is carrying loads of people - all the South Africans - as compared to the apartheid horse, which carried only a few people. It was running fast to deliver the services to the minority. It's only the ANC that is the hope of the South African people. [Applause.]
Early childhood development, ECD, centres were built in Muyexe, Riemvasmaak, Msinga in Siyazama, Langelihle in the Eastern Cape and the Masibambisane Day Care Centre, and here in the Western Cape the Witzenberg Crche and the Poplap Creche were constructed. Access to ECD centres will assist in building a solid foundation in life by instilling a culture of learning from an early age.
What progress has been made in Muyexe! There is a library, community hall, Internet facilities, Post Office with banking facilities and a satellite police station. The ANC has been able to do wonders in 19 years, which was difficult for other people to do in 365 years. What a miracle! Muyexe will not be the same again.
By building schools in rural areas the department is responding to the plight of rural people of a high rate of illiteracy and a lack of skills. During apartheid, the health of our people was in danger because of the lack of services. Now we have health centres, and emergency service centres in all rural areas where the RDP has started to be implemented. In the Jabulani Bafazi area in Mkhondo in Mpumalanga, ambulances are accessible to the rural people. Two clinics were built in the Northern Cape. Clinics have been built in Diyatalawa and Makgolokweng. Although there are still challenges in other areas, there is also improvement that has been brought about by the ANC.
Go and see for yourself. Reduce oversight through newspapers. There is a saying that goes, "lieg soos 'n koerant". Don't depend on the newspapers. Join the committee during oversight visits, and you will start to speak facts based on evidence. You will see wonders. Those reserves that you created have become towns. The ANC keeps on doing great things. [Interjections.]
Most people lived in mud houses, which were not conducive to a decent life; others lived in reed or grass houses. Chairperson, now rural people live in dignified and decent houses. Through the CRDP, 330 houses were built in Muyexe, 98 in Riemvasmaak, 10 concrete houses in Vryheid and, 50 houses were built, and are occupied, in Diyatalawa.
There were some challenges with regard to the delay in the occupation of some of the houses, especially in Diyatalawa. Some of the houses have been vandalised, and there has been a lack of continuous monitoring and service providers. This must be attended to. The houses built are not enough, due to the apartheid backlog, but the ANC is on track to ensure a better life for all South Africans. People must be patient.
Ukubekezela kuyakuphumelelisa. [Patience results in success.]
Previously, people had no part in their own development; they were just spectators, as they were not consulted and could not participate in the development of their own areas. People were informed about their own needs. Therefore, the Rural Development Policy seeks to build social cohesion through leadership and community development. It promotes local leadership development and seeks to promote a bottom-up scheme of Integrated Rural Development.
Chairperson, the establishment of 464 Councils of Stakeholders by March 2012, which represent various sectors of the communities, is aimed at making society active recipients of services and improve their participation in the development of their own areas. Through the CRDP people are made players in their own development and not spectators, as they are the ones who identify community needs and projects and monitor the implementation of the projects.
The increase of 23 districts - which were identified as CRDP sites - to 30 districts, as a plan to roll out the CRDP in 160 wards by 2014, indicates that the ANC is taking the Integrated Rural Development Programme seriously to make sure that development takes place in all the corners of South Africa. The role of technical committees is also appreciated.
Improving access to affordable and diverse foods is one of the goals of rural development to be achieved by 2014. For the establishment of household, institutional and community gardens in order to improve food security by March 2012, 3 258 gardens were established. The challenge is the use of consultants for services that can be performed by communities to save costs, like in Diyatalawa, where a service provider was appointed to cultivate and plant the backyard gardens. Communities must not be given fish; they must be taught how to catch fish.