Lekazi Township

Project: Water Project for Community Food Security.  

Achieved Statuses: Provided a Central Community Borehole Water Supply System;  Distributed 303 Hippo Rollers to underprivileged households.

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 Getting to know KaNyamazane 

KaNyamazane (formerly known as Lekazi) is an urban-rural township and was established as a labour reserve in 1968 after the people was forcibly removed from the township of Mbombela, in order to serve the labour needs of the metals and minerals plant (MMC). This systematic policy of urban apartheid thus resulted in a convenient source of cheap labour for the industrial area that was just far enough so that the responsibility for providing in their developmental needs, e.g. schools, housing, etc. rested with the tribal authorities. Today it is a Township with 11 814 families.

These settlements have historically been cut off from delivery and have large service backlogs that are made worse by urban land tenure issues that hinder delivery. Unemployment figures in these areas, are typically high and economic opportunities lacking. To combat these problems, the Mbombela Local Municipality has adopted projects and initiatives (some public –private partnerships) that promote inclusive strategies for economic growth. These projects and initiatives also emphasise the eradication of unequal service delivery. It is hoped that these strategies will also bring about economic equity through for example the promotion of Black economic and SMME empowerment. One way of achieving this is through capitalising on the tourism boom and through encouraging massive investment in the area through the SDI initiatives, especially the Maputo Development Corridor (MDC), of which Mpumalanga and Nelspruit as the capital, form the economic hub.

Food Security Status
The eastern part of Mbombela is characterised by high poverty levels, low literacy levels, limited infrastructure and limited economic growth whereas western Mbombela experiences high economic growth, high literacy rates and good infrastructure. High unemployment levels are experienced in the rural villages and townships, officially ranging from 25% to 41%, but estimated to far exceed this in deep rural areas. The urban towns experience relatively low levels of unemployment rates of less than 10%.Being the economic centre of the province of Mpumalanga as well as the region, Mbombela has experienced constant economic growth over the past few years.

 However, rural villages and townships showed an increase in poverty levels during the same period. Today, the majority of residents in kaNyamazane are still highly dependent on Nelspruit and white-owned farms for employment opportunities. The core of kaNyamazane can be described as a former homeland border town. Mostly formal housing exists in kaNyamazane, although mud houses and shacks also exist. The core of kaNyamazane is more developed and a mixture of 4- roomed houses can be found together with those that have been improved and extended depending on owners’ income level. There is little evidence of informal housing, despite the fact that no building bylaws have been enforced for more than 10 years. Widespread encroachment in these areas therefore abound. Informal housing is more evident towards the boundaries of these R293 towns and within extensions to the townships. Within the last decade or so, permanent structures have also been erected on land unsuitable for habitation (i.e. within the 50-year flood line or on extreme steep land.