In a development that is set to suck the lifeblood of the current Inkatha Freedom Party controlled town of Nkandla, the department of Rural Development and Land Reform has constructed a multimillion-rand vegetable packing warehouse built a short distance away from Zuma’s controversial Nkandla residence. This project is built for the Qedisimo Sendlala Cooperative, a Mrs Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma initiative to help the more than twenty women members to fend off hunger in the poverty-stricken KwaNxamalala village. It is also set to help other women’s cooperatives in the area and other surrounding areas.
The KwaNxamalala initiative is a brain child of the Masibambisane Business Initiative which is co-chaired by Jacob Zuma and his cousin, Sibusiso Mzobe. Its aim is to build a multi million rand centre which will be known as the Umlalazi-Nkandla Smart Growth Centre but has however been dubbed “Zumaville” by critics who argue against the idea of spending extensively on new infrastructure instead of utilizing the existing one in developing an existing town. Linda Page, the spokeswoman for rural development informed the media that plans to develop the new town, described by President Zuma in May as ” first of its kind built by black people after democracy”, are at an advanced stage and construction will commence in three months time as the main contractor was already on site. She added that a number of private investors that she could not name, were keen to participate in the project. She added that the Umlalazi-Nkandla Smart Growth Centre would comprise public and private facilities such as a school, community hall, skills development centre, community safety centre, creche, library and office space for government and commercial services.
There has, however, been an outcry from the Inkatha Freedom Party about the developments in the KwaNxamalala area, which indicate that a multi million rand town is set to be built in the area. In a statement, the municipal manager of the Nkandla Municipality said it would have made more sense if the resources that are being used in the KwaNxamalala project were channelled to develop the existing town of Nkandla. He added that if that were done, it would benefit more people as there are currently more people residing in and around Nkandla than in the KwaNxamalala area.