Cabinet approved the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) on 12 August 2009.
The CRDP is a strategic priority in government's Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The design of the programme is predicated on lessons learnt from pilot sites selected through socio-economic profiling, community participatory processes and intergovernmental cooperation. A great deal of baseline data has emerged from the first two pilot engagements in Riemvasmaak in the Northern Cape, and Muyexe Village in Giyani in Limpopo.
The CRDP is different from past government strategies in rural areas because it is premised on a proactive participatory community-based planning approach rather than an interventionist approach to rural development. It is aimed at being an effective response to poverty and food insecurity by maximising the use and management of natural resources to create vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities. The CRDP must improve the standards of living and welfare and rectify past injustices hrough rights-based interventions and by addressing skewed patterns of distribution and ownership of wealth and assets.
The strategic objective of the CRDP is therefore to facilitate integrated development and social cohesion through participatory approaches in partnership with all sectors of society.
This will be done by:
- contributing to the redistribution of 30% of the country's agricultural land
- improving food security of the rural poor
- creating business opportunities
- decongesting and rehabilitating overcrowded former homeland areas
- expanding opportunities for rural women, youth, people with disabilities and older persons.
The CRDP is premised on three phases:
- Phase One, which has meeting basic human needs as its driver;
- Phase Two, which has large-scale infrastructure development as its driver;
- Phase Three, with the emergence of rural industrial and credit financial sectors, which is driven by small, medium and macro-enterprises and village markets.
By October 2011, the CRDP was being implemented at 65 sites across the country. Some 33 560 hectares (ha) of agricultural land had been acquired to provide emerging farmers with access to land. Some 116 farms had been recapitalised by providing funds for, among other things, infrastructure, mechanisation, seeds, livestock and the transfer of skills by commercial farmers to enhance the productivity of transferred farms.
In areas where the CRDP is being implemented, a new vibrancy has been created around working together, involving communities, the three spheres of government and the private sector. This has enabled communities to mobilise resources from all sectors of government to enhance delivery.
An inclusive CRDP stakeholder participation model has been developed in the form of the CoS, which function as partners in planning, implementation and monitoring. Through these inclusive bodies, communities themselves have become central to their own development.
Through the work undertaken at the CRDP sites, and in conjunction with fellow departments at national, provincial and local government level, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform erected infrastructure such as housing, water, sanitation, pack-sheds, community halls, multipurpose centres, fencing, early childhood development centres, satellite police stations and renovated schools and clinics.