KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has launched service delivery projects worth R22.6-million, which are aimed at stimulating the economy of Mthonjaneni Municipality.

These projects include market stalls worth R3.6 million; walkways in town to the tune of R1.9 million and road upgrades worth R15 million.

The upgrades are also creating more than 100 local jobs. One of the 30 beneficiaries of the market stall upgrades for local rural women is Jabulisile Ngubane, 52.

“Business at Ndundulu Market stalls has increased manifold since the upgrades and people who stop by to buy fruits and African crafts now feel safe as a result of these public works.

“Those of us who work here are now able to feed our families and send our children to school,” said Ngubane.

MEC Dube-Ncube said the launch of these projects is a clear sign that the provincial government’s commitment to rural development is impacting positively on the lives of local people.

“We would also like to see the women who are working in these stalls advancing to the point where they form co-operatives and supply fruits to various retail stores across the region.

“This is something that is possible and our officials are working together with the traders to ensure that adequate training is provided for the local people to seize opportunities that await them,” she said.

MEC Dube-Ncube also visited the newly built market stalls near the Melmoth Taxi Rank, which now houses more than 50 traders.

“These stalls play an important part in growing the economy of this town. Three years ago when we embarked on the rehabilitation of this town, we identified informal traders as key role players in the growth of the local economy and in the creation of local jobs.

“As we speak, traders who work in these stalls support other traders who work within this town. This is the kind of symbiotic relationships we would like to replicate elsewhere in KwaZulu-Natal,” said MEC Dube-Ncube.