An urgent effort is being made to develop the rural Thelaphi area, near Maria Ratschitz Mission, which falls under Endumeni Municipality’s Ward 7 area.
Councillor Dr Sandy Bedassi has held several meetings in the area with the community and commented that development cannot materialise unless the ‘issue of the rightful Trustees is resolved’. A wrangle over two Trustee groups has frozen development in this area where jobs are non-existent.
He said the way to resolve the issue would be to bring together the two bodies with the Departments of Rural Development and Land Reform and/or Justice.
Many of those living in Thelaphi were victims of forced removals in the 1960s where they were relocated to Limehill and other areas but have since returned.
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Dr Bedassi has invited Siegfied Haschke of the local Agricultural Department to the area to enhance the development of rural farmers and to make the area more self-sufficient in terms of food security. However, the urgent need to resolve the conflict over the two Trustee bodies was hampering progress.
Dr Bedassi said there had been progress in the delivery of water to residents while electricity was the competency of Eskom and an application has been made to the utility to electrify homes.
The main road is the responsibility of the Transport Department while access roads are in urgent need of attention. ”I am pleased that the crèche, which was closed for some time, is again functional. We need to have the crèche registered for it to receive a subsidy because at the moment it does not receive any,” said Dr Bedassi, adding that the local hall also needs an upgrade.
Recreational facilities are another need while innovative thinking would be needed to come up with projects to encourage local economic development.
“However, what we need is for the two bodies of Trustees to come together so we can go forward with these plans – a divided community is a failing community.”