Coast KZN

23 Dec 2017

Sweet partnership to benefit community

Larry Bentley (Zululand Observer) Picture: Tongaat Hulett and Nodunga Communal Property Association members on the land being converted to cane

Nodunga community opts for sugar cane

The Nodunga community outside KwaDukuza is benefitting from a partnership agreement with Tongaat Hulett.

In June 1997, the community lodged a claim for land rights with the Regional Land Claims Commission (RLCC), which was approved in 2013.

The claimants, collectively working under the banner of the Nodunga Communal Property Association (NCPA), consists of more than 300 beneficiaries.

In October this year the NCPA entered into a lease agreement with Tongaat Hulett, whereby 379ha were leased.

Tongaat Hulett is one of the strategic partners of government and is currently investing considerable resources towards fostering public-private partnerships to stimulate rural local economic development and social upliftment.

‘The working relationship with the NCPA is underpinned by a number of elements, including sugar cane development, corporate social investment, capacity building and skills development,’ said Tongaat Hulett Socio-Economic Development Manager, Nkonzo Mhlongo.

‘We constantly support partnerships that benefit both the business and the surrounding communities where Tongaat Hulett operates.’

Accelerated growth
The sugar cane development initiative ensures Tongaat Hulett’s partnership with NCPA speeds up the process of planting sugar cane on the allocated land, thereby generating job opportunities for the community.

The corporate social investment element creates a platform for developmental projects focusing on, for example, education and training, sport and recreation, and infrastructure development.

The capacity building and skills development programme ensures community members, particularly the youth, are encouraged to learn about the sugar cane industry.

Chairperson of the Nodunga Communal Property Association Committee, Thabani Zulu, said the partnership has already generated 20 job opportunities.

Several youth will be offered bursaries to study plant or animal production at Owen Sitole College of Agriculture outside Empangeni.

Others will be given an opportunity to join the junior or senior certificate courses in sugar cane agriculture.