Durban, August 10, 2016: The Department of Transport (DOT), supported by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) invite members of the media to the handing over ceremony of basic essential services including boats and engines to the Enkovukeni residents, a small impoverished rural community, north of KwaZulu-Natal which is also part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park.
The Isimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s first world heritage site.
This initiative is part of the Umhlabauyalingana Outreach project which was initially proposed as a Nelson Mandela International Day project by SAMSA. The community of Ekuvukeni in Kwa-Zulu Natal was identified as a beneficiary. SAMSA proposed a partnership with other stakeholders to accelerate delivery of services and bring immediate and long term relief to the community.
Enkovukeni is a thin 5km strip of land, practically an island, stretching from Bhanga Neck to Kosi Bay Mouth with the Indian ocean on one side and the Kosi Bay lake system on the other. The area is virtually only accessible by foot or make shift canoes which residents currently use.
The community faces various socio-economic challenges including lack of sufficient infrastructure and limited access to social and other services.
Lydia Sindisiwe Chikunga, Deputy Minister of Transport said: “For the sake of uplifting this community we not only have to take a holistic view towards providing it with basic amenities but also looked at the potential of marine-tourism for the Enkovukeni area. This area has huge potential for tourism expansion. This latest investment was the culmination of efforts by the national government to uplift one of the poorest regions in the country, she said, further hailing it as a major step in the transformation of the tourism and transport sectors.
Chikunga said she was confident that this kind of investment into the area will continue well into the future.
Government and private sector intervention was critical. This was a call to arms to other stakeholders in the Maritime Sector to “make sustainable difference in the communities in which they operate”, she added.
It also promoted social partnerships aimed at assisting the South African government to speed up service and basic infrastructure delivery, she said,
The outreach progamme would assist people to fortify their aqua culture skills so the community could make a better living out of it. Said Acting SAMSA CEO Sobantu Tilayi: “We want to produce sufficient and efficient transport so residents could be safe when crossing the river. Hence we have reached out to sponsors to assist with supplying boats and engines.”
Government representatives have met with the local leaders to assess their needs. Various government departments, through the Expanded Public Works have embarked on this community outreach program to look holistically at issues from transport, infrastructure, to upskilling people to providing skills in aquaculture.
According to the latest census statistics:
Tilayi added this was a long term intervention that will include training for Skippers licenses as well as fortifying the communities’ aquaculture skills. This outreach program will assist in the alleviation of poverty.
Members of the media who wish to cover the event, please contact Phindile Makhaphela on 0710512176/0312085525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Issued on behalf of SAMSA by FBI Communications