Cannabiz Africa/Luva Cataka, News 24
One of South Africa’s poorest municipalities is pinning some of its development hopes on cannabis. Nyandeni in the Eastern Cape recently hosted a development summit where its mayor said the cannabis industry alone could create many jobs if it could be formalized.
News24 reports that Nyandeni Local Municipality mayor, Viwe Ndamase, told an investor summit held at Dan’s Country Lodge outside Mthatha on 7 and 8 September 2023 that the Eastern Cape area held potential for cannabis but that a regulatory framework needed to be put in place.
“Once we get investors coming to our space there will be employment opportunities for our people. If you look at the cannabis industry alone, it has the potential to create several job opportunities if it can be formalised,” said Ndamase.
The municipality sold itself as a stable municipality at both political and administrative levels during the summit, with Ndamase saying this was demonstrated by the unqualified audit outcomes the municipality achieved for six consecutive years.
It further pitched itself as an investment destination of choice with investment opportunities in property development, tourism, small-scale manufacturing, oceans economy and agriculture, agro-processing, and forestry.
Eastern Cape Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, who delivered a keynote speech at the summit, said he expected the investment summit’s outcomes to benefit the people of Nyandeni and the OR Tambo District Municipality.
He further cautioned municipalities to improve on their turnaround time and approvals when investors come wanting to invest.
“Policy uncertainty and turnaround time are the biggest stumbling blocks that stifle investment at municipal level, and municipalities need to address that as a matter of urgency,” Mvoko cautioned.
Nyandeni is one of the poorest municipalities in the country with most of the population living in rural villages and over 75% classified as indigent. The main centre is Libode. Education is a big problem with 64% of schools either over-crowded or chronically over-croweded. HIV Aids is a serious health issue with the prevelance rate thought to be between 50% and 60% of the population.