Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has conducted an oversight visit to two major projects at Mvezo Great Place outside Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. The projects include the Mvezo- Ludondolo access road that connects the Bumbane Great Place and the Nelson Mandela Garden of Remembrance in Mvezo.

Mvezo is where former president Nelson Mandela was born. It’s regarded as one of the significant National Heritage sites. The Garden of Remembrance will provide more information about Nelson Mandela’s political contribution to the liberation struggle.

Minister Didiza says Nelson Mandela was an international icon who grew up in this village.

“The garden of Remembrance and the Route that connects, not only KSD Municipality and OR Tambo District but also actually links with Amathole District in a sense, it epitomizes the life of President Mandela, who through his work, was able to connect not only South Africa, but Africa and South Africa to the whole world. I think, one for me, this is a very important moment that he is here in his own village.”

Didiza says this region has a rich history because many leaders come from this part of the country.

“Here, in the birthplace of Tata Mandela, if you go further to eNkantlo in Bizana, that is where you will find the birthplace of Tata Oliver Tambo. When you go the same in Bizana, that is where you will find Umama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Again, if you go here in Mbashe, that is where you will find the birthplace of Ubaba Jabavu, Baba Govan Mbeki. So, if you really just look into this region, it actually has the history of South Africa.”

Mvezo Chief Zwelivelile Mandela says the previous administration had a vision of linking all these heritage sites and districts around Mvezo to make life easier for the people. He believes that Nelson Mandela would have been happy to see developmental projects taking off successfully.

“He had a vision of linking these two villages of Ludondolo and Mvezo and building an access road that would go all the way to Ellitdale. They have, therefore, been able to link this access road from Ludondolo to Mvezo to KSD as well as Mbashe Municipality in the name of the founding father of our democracy, His Excellency President Rholihlahla Nelson Mandela.”

Chief Zwelivelile says the involvement of women in projects like bricklaying, fencing and sand-mining is the positive effort to fight poverty and create jobs in rural areas.

Minister Thoko Didiza has promised to inject more funds to finalize some of the outstanding projects at Mvezo and Ludondlo villages.