Rural Development improves your life

Rural Development improves your life

Many of us live in urban centres and face the ups and downs of city life. The need for rural development does not occur to us. The rural situation is often far from foremost in our minds. But the condition of our rural areas affects us far more than we sometimes realise.

The majority of South Africa’s population is now urbanised. (Two-thirds of the population live in urban centres, according to the World Bank). Yet we are a country with a high level of food insecurity. There is an ever-increasing demand for locally-produced staple foods. The recent drought is a reminder of the need to strengthen our agriculture.

There are also many problems which result from the increase of urbanisation. City centres are now facing overpopulation issues such as increasing unemployment and crime. The increasing demand for service delivery puts pressure on the municipalities.

Meanwhile, there are many who struggle to eke out a living in rural areas.

How can we address the scope of these problems? The answer comes in the form of strategic and sustainable rural development programmes.

Working with government and conscientious business investors, we can roll out key strategies for community development and socio-economic development in rural areas. To create sustainable livelihoods and thriving rural enterprises, infrastructure must be developed. There must also be a focus on business coaching. These strategies lead to an increase in food security. We are then better equipped to weather food shortages, in rural and urban areas alike. Strengthening our agricultural industry has a knock-on booster effect for the economy. It counters inflation as well.

Also, by creating opportunities in rural areas, more young people resist the pull of the cities. They are more confident to enjoy a brighter future in the countryside. The goal of socio-economic development is to ensure the well-being of rural households. Together with this, we focus on community development. The ultimate effect is the rejuvenation of our many smaller towns and villages.

Those living in outlying areas get equipped to survive bad harvests and other crises. There also is a reduction in conflict over scarce resources.

Rural development is a complex issue involving cultural, religious, social, economic, technological, and environmental factors. With many success stories under its belt, Umsizi is well-equipped to address all these spheres and welcome a brighter tomorrow in both rural and urban areas.

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