Rural communities have very little to celebrate for the past twenty years. They have endured nothing but neglect and poor service delivery from successive governments. Non-existent or poor infrastructure, children learning under trees, learners who still have to walk long distances to school, no public transportation, no healthcare facilities and no recreational facilities are the hallmarks of rural living.
The legacy of apartheid derived land ownership patterns continue to have a negative impact on the capacity of black people to provide a sustainable livelihood through, among other things, agriculture.
To improve the situation and to bring prosperity and wellbeing to rural areas andensure food security for the country, an AZAPOgovernment will:
- Work in an inclusive manner with traditional authorities
- Pay special attention to rural municipalities and strengthen their effectiveness
- Expand the footprint of the public healthcare system in rural areas by ensuring, at a minimum, existence of municipal healthcare facilities that provideprimary healthcare and are able to, at least, provide emergency medical treatment in order to stabilize patients needing emergency care.
- Ensure that within a radius of 100km of rural towns there is a public healthcare facility with appropriately skilled staff that is able to provide secondary healthcare.
- Ensure that there are recreational facilities for rural communities.
- Introduce municipal public transport in rural areas so as to reduce the impact of transportation costs on already meagre wages earned by people living in rural areas
- Include Communal Property Association in the integrated development plan of municipalities.
- Build and maintain roads linking rural municipalities with regional and national roads so as to ensure efficient connection of rural areas to economic hubs in the country.
- In developing rural economies, provide support to small scale farmers in the form of tractors to plough their fields, seeds, veterinary services and low cost transportation of their goods to markets.
- AZAPO will correct the apartheid land distribution patterns through its land policy
- Provide emerging black farmers with the necessary agricultural training and modern technologies to enable them to be more productive and sustainable.
- Encourage and support cooperatives aimed at developing economies of scale for small farmers.
- Work to lower energy costs for rural communities and farmers.
- Invest in water and irrigation infrastructure.
- Through its science and technology policy encourage and support research into all aspect of agriculture.
- Allocate land for large scale farming aimed at ensuring domestic food security first and then producing for the export market.
- Through diplomatic and trade engagements work to ensure access for South African products in international markets
- Implement an agricultural strategy whose target is the eradication of poverty through ensuring food security