Author: Staff Writer
Amathole District Municipality Development Agency, Aspire has committed to support and monitor developmental projects across the municipality. Acting CEO Chwayita Stofile made the commitment recently, during a meeting with executive mayor of Mbashe, Councilor Samkelo Janda.
Janda had invited Stofile to discuss how the agency could lend a helping hand in some of the developmental projects under the municipality. He said, because of the financial challenges, the municipality was unable to assist anymore. During the meeting, Stofile was told of challenges several development projects across Mbhashe municipality were facing.
In a fact-finding mission, Stofile sent a delegation from her office to visit four identified projects in Mbhashe. "We wanted to hear from them what support they needed, instead of deciding for them. It was a wise decision I must say. The visit helped us understand what exactly what they needed, and they told us in detail the type of equipment they need." she said.
The projects included the Bulungula Lemon Grass, Essential Oils, Moringa, Chachazela, Mangwevini, Sorghum, Macademia and Wool Processing Plant.
Stofile said the agency was in the process of procuring the equipment, which they will deliver before the end of June.
"We want to ensure that whatever project that is undertaken in the district is supported and is sustainable in the long run." She said their involvement in Mbhashe projects was to make sure that all projects were properly profiled and well marketed. "We hope that our intervention will help expand the production and stimulate economic development in the area and reduce unemployment."
Stofile said their ultimate goal was to see sustainability and expansion of projects, something that might help alleviate poverty. "The desired outcome is to get all these projects exposed to the market and that would help attract investors. The more investors we get, the more jobs these projects will create and the intention is to roll out these kind of initiatives throughout the municipality." The more jobs we create , the more we will be able to overcome social challenges like crime and drug abuse. A local farmer Oli Sigidi said they were looking forward to the help Aspire offered them.
"We had an opportunity to meet with the Aspire CEO and she listened to us. What we need is a wool processing plant. We have a lot of wool here that we normally take to Gqebherha and is exported to China. We no longer want to send out our wool to be processed. We want to process it here." Stofile said they were in the process of conducting market research and a service provider has already been appointed to check what can be done with the wool to process it locally rather than exporting it China in it's unprocessed form.