Amang­colosi build­ing the com­mu­nity through land

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

A KWAZULU-NATAL land resti­tu­tion project shows what can be achieved through hard work and com­mit­ment.

The success of the Amang­colosi Com­mu­nity Trust land claim is an ex­am­ple of how land brings dig­nity and unity to a com­mu­nity.

In 2004, about 401 fam­i­lies suc­cess­fully claimed their land back through the Com­mis­sion on Resti­tu­tion of Land Rights.

Over the years this com­mu­nity has been able to build a fully-fledged busi­ness called Ithuba Agri­cul­ture which em­ploys about 500 peo­ple in Kran­skop in KwaZulu-Natal.

Ithuba has 8 000 hectares of land and farms sugar cane, tim­ber, white maize, kiwi fruit and chill­ies.

With the busi­ness be­ing so suc­cess­ful, a de­ci­sion was made to plough some of the bounty back into the com­mu­nity and four homes were built for poverty-stricken fam­i­lies.

Ben­e­fi­ciary Nomthandazo Dlamini said she could not be­lieve it when she was told that Amang­colosi wanted to build her a house. “I am a widow and with four un­em­ployed chil­dren, I am strug­gling to make ends meet. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would one day own a big house. When I re­ceived the keys l felt like cry­ing,” she said.

Dlamini’s home has three bed­rooms, a kitchen, din­ing room and bath­room.

The CEO of Ithuba Agri­cul­ture Sibu­siso Dlamini said his com­pany is al­ways seek­ing ways to up­lift the com­mu­nity.

“Prior to hand­ing over these new homes, we had built five class­rooms at a school that had only four class­rooms and do­nated a com­puter lab with 30 lap­tops to an­other school. We will con­tinue do­ing good things for the com­mu­nity be­cause it is im­por­tant to have hu­mil­ity and build our so­ci­ety,” he said.

Ithuba has sup­ply agree­ments with a num­ber of com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Gled­how Sugar Mill and NCT Forestry Co-op­er­a­tive. Over and the above the em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated by Ithuba on be­half of the Amang­colosi Com­mu­nity Trust, the com­pany has been pay­ing yearly div­i­dends of R6 000 to the 401 fam­i­lies who are part of the trust.

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