Marooned Enkovukeni community in KZN gets five boats from Govt: DoT/SAMSA

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Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (Second Left) with senior officials of entities involved in the joint initiative, among them SAMSA and Amsol, to assist the marooned community of Enkovukeni at Umhlaba’uyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal with water transport while feasibility studies continue on the possibility of erecting a permanent bridge across the estuary on which the community is settled on an island.

Jozini: 17 July 2018

The marooned community of Enkovukeni at Umhlab’uyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal is finally breathing easy after receiving a total five motorized boats on Monday, handed over to the Inkosi Tembe by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga.

The boats – all ready to be operated by newly trained skippers from the community who were previously unemployed youths – are a product of a joint initiative between the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) supported by the Department of Transport (DoT) and private sector companies, among them shipping group, Amsol as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.

It’s a joint initiative that began as the Enkovukeni Outreach Project three years ago as a gesture of goodwill in the spirit of the Nelson Mandela International Day, sparked by an outcry from the Enkovukeni community after it was trapped for months, unable to move, following heavy rains that swell waterways that make up part of the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park that is a World Heritage Site in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

The first of the five boats (in pictures above) was handed to the community in 2016, followed a while later by another, donated by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Department of Education.

On Monday afternoon during a  very wet rainy day – and a day ahead of Tuesday’s reopening of schools towards which children from the about 250 households that make up the village have to daily wade through waist deep water – the community was handed over the last three of the five boats that are intended to assist it with water transport while broader efforts are continuing to establish the feasibility of erecting a permanent bridge in the area.

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Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga

According to Ms Chikunga at the ceremony on Monday, the building of a permanent bridge across the estuary would be an ideal solution but this would require extensive consultations among several government departments and other affected or interested entities.

From a financial perspective she said, current estimates indicated that it would be a highly expensive exercise largely due to the character of the landscape of the area.

She urged the community to actively engage in the exercise in two ways; first by ensuring it was represented in tasks teams shouldered with responsibility for the feasibility studies, but also in embarking on entrepreneurial initiatives that will financial support pursuit of its aspirations.

“These boats that we are handing over to you today, are not Government or anyone else’s property but your property as a community and which you must protect and preserve as best you can in your own interest. But in addition, you must find ways in which you will raise funds to maintain them with fuel as well as all other necessary repairs,” she said.

For a full address by Ms Chikunga, click on the video below.

For a full background story on the Enkovukeni project, Click Here and Here

Meanwhile, as part of the Nelson Mandela International Day celebration that begun on Sunday this week, Ms Chikunga handed the elderly in the area with blankets as well as dozens of pairs of shoes for school going children.

End.

 

 

 

Transport Ministry and SAMSA take to water to bail out long struggling rural KwaZulu-Natal community

 

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Durban: 07 September 2016

Peaceful co-existence with the natural environment should soon take on a whole new meaning from this weekend for a KwaZulu-Natal community virtually water-locked by a river upon which modern bridges are by law not allowed to be constructed even as the surrounding deep waters are infested with crocodiles and other indifferent water based animals.

The community of Enkovukeni will on Friday host a delegation of public and private officials led by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga and the acting CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Mr Sobantu Tilayi; on a visit to deliver to the community a whole range of developmental materials, including boats, all intended to assist the community in its day to day strife with a water-centred life.

Confirming the event postponed from last month to this week in order to allow for more input by other interested parties, in a public media statement on Tuesday evening, the Department of Transport wrote:

The Department of Transport, supported by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) invites members of the media to the handing over ceremony of basic essential services including boats and engines to the Enkovukeni community on Friday, 9 September 2016 in KwaZulu-Natal.

The small impoverished rural community which is situated in the north of KwaZulu-Natal forms part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. The Park is South Africa’s first world heritage site.

This initiative is part of the Umhlabuyalingana Outreach Project which was initially proposed as a Nelson Mandela International Day project by SAMSA. The community of Enkovukeni in KwaZulu-Natal was identified as a beneficiary. SAMSA proposed a partnership with other stakeholders to accelerate delivery of services and bring immediate and long term relief to the community.

Enkovukeni is a thin 5km strip of land, practically an island, stretching from Bhanga Neck to Kosi Bay Mouth with the Indian Ocean on one side and the Kosi Bay lake system on the other. The area is virtually only accessible by foot or make shift canoes which residents currently use.

The community faces various socio-economic challenges including lack of sufficient infrastructure and limited access to social and other services.

This initiative is sponsored by Dormac, Subtech, Smith Amandla Marine, Unicorn, SA Shipyards, MIASA, KZN Sharks board, FBI Communications, Viking Lifesaving and Surfing Equipment.

The Deputy Minister of Transport Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga and members of the community will also grace the event.

Issued by: Department of Transport

This blog and related platforms will carry the highlights of the important function .