There are no official and formal cemeteries in the rural part of the Municipality. Due the generally high mortality rate in the region, the provision of adequate, formal and environmentally friendly cemeteries in the rural villages has become one of the critical challenges the Municipality has to address. The Municipality is in the process of formalizing some of the cemeteries and depending on the availability of funds the Municipality intends to establish regional cemeteries in the Nkomazi East and Nkomazi West areas.
Land Ownership and Land Use Management
The Municipality is predominately rural and faces a number of challenges with regard to land ownership as most land is either under the authority of traditional leaders or belongs to farm owners. Further challenges to the land issue are the finalisation of Land claim that hinders developments across the entire municipal area. Land Control is only enforced in the formerly white urban areas. There is no enforcement of land use controls in the predominantly rural and tribal areas. Consequently the development of informal settlements and uncontrolled rural sprawl has become a major challenge to the Municipality. The municipality requires implementing a proper land use management for the whole Municipal area to resolve informal settlement mushrooming in all the urban and rural areas. Traditional Leaders need to be effectively consulted and engaged in addressing the land use management issue.
The Nkomazi Local Municipality is characterised by farms, Manufacturing and Tourism, as the main source of employment and economic activity. In terms of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA, 2000) the GDP of Ehlanzeni District Municipality (which includes Nkomazi) is valued at R11.2 billion comprising about 18 percent of Mpumalanga Province GDP (DBSA, 2000). The Manufacturing sector contributes about 27%, trade 17% and agriculture 14% to the economic activity. A major challenge to growing the economy is lack of skills within the district. The following areas have been identified to become the regional drivers for economic growth and job creation: agriculture, mining, retailing, tourism, manufacturing and business opportunities that might exist due to the development of the N4 Maputo Corridor which is also the Mpumalanga provincial Flagship Project.
The main challenge facing the district and its communities is the marginalization of the previously disadvantaged communities to enter into the main flow of the economy and to diversify the economy among the residence of the district. The other challenges facing the district is the merging of the two economies being the first and second economy. The Nkomazi Municipality is currently compiling its own municipal wide Local Economic Development Strategy and Tourism Development plans that will ensure that its community benefits from the economic opportunities prevailing within its area.
The provision and operation of Social Welfare services in the Municipality area is primarily the responsibility of provincial departments. This renders certain problems, as communities are not always aware of this fact and perceive local authorities as the cause to problems especially the provision of services. Local authorities can only act as agents on behalf of their communities to bring problems to the attention of the provincial authorities. It is of importance that problems be identified and brought to the attention of Provincial Departments through the IDP process.
Health and Social Welfare Service
Most people in the rural and farm areas have limited or no access to proper health and social welfare services. In most cases where such services exist, the quality is poor. Most of the rural farming communities are isolated and sparsely located, and health services are provided through mobile services, which are mostly unreliable. Although most of the wards have been adequately provided with health facilities, the provision of clinics still remains a priority in seven wards.
The provision of education facilities in the form of buildings is still a challenge is some rural villages. Most of the educational facilities need to be renovated, upgraded and good maintenance. In most cases there is a need to increase or add buildings in the form of classrooms in
The following main aspects related to the road network planning system have been addressed in this report:
- Analyses of the current travel patterns in the NLM area
- Analyses of the provincial and regional road networks influencing the transport and road planning in the study area
- Consultation process with the officials and other relevant stakeholders
- Formulation of adequate road hierarchy and roads classification systems
- Formulation of the proposed roads implementation plan
It should be noted that due to the budget constraints not all the roads were assessed, therefore the study relied significantly technical assessment. The study focused on the low order roads, which are classes 4 and 5 road network. No traffic counts were done, but community engagement provided the team with the prevailing operations i.e. O-D