Ezibomvini-Stulwanecross visit: Local Resource management- 29/09/2023
After a number of workshops held with Both the Stulwane and EZibomvini Communities, a
local resource management plan was designed, by the WRC, Mahlathini DF and the
Communities. Both Communities identified key areas that needed intervention, such as the
wetlands, springs, Degraded areas (Erosion), grazing lands, invasive Alian plants that are
taking over, dominating over the indigenous vegetation, and sucking up water, etc. In the
plans, the communities stated actions that need to be taken and steps necessary to archive
the goals. The Stulwane community took an initiative and started implementing their
resource management plan in their area, they chose Thursdays as a day for the Restoration
work, they started picking up litter along the roads and rivers, cutting down wattle that is
multiplying along the river and applying poison after cutting down to prevent regrowth, and
they also moved a gate into the grazing area to keep the livestock from causing more
erosion by trampling on that same area and then built check dams/stone packing on that
eroded area (mountain) above their dip-tank.
On the other hand, the Ezibomvini community did not seem to have started implementing
the plan, hence a cross-visit to Stulwane was organised and took place on the 29thof
September 2023, for the Ezibomvini community to get to see what the Stulwane community
has done and still plans to do, share ideas on how to start and take the first steps and how
they went about taking the initiative, with the hope that Ezibomvini Community will be
inspired/encouraged to also start implementing their plan in their area, and for the
Stulwane community to be motivated to continue with the work. The day started with going
to the Restoration site, which serves as an example of what the community can try out to
deal with erosion issues and, where there are brush packs, made from the wattle that the
community is clearing out. From there, the groups were taken to see the wattle clearing
that has been done along the river.
Nelisiwe Msele explained to the Ezibomvini community that they have cut down the wattle
along the river as it sucks up water and taking up space for the indigenous grasses, they take
the cut trees to their households for firewood. The community was planning to continue
cutting downward along the river, but people from households downward complained that
they were left out and the upper part is now cutting and taking all the wood and leaving
them none as they also get firewood from the wattle along the river near them.
A suggestion, made by Nelisiwe Msele was that, there needs to be a meeting, invite these
people and update them on where this work started from, what has been done, why do it,
this will hopefully make them a part of the work.
Figure 1: Ezibomvini-Stulwane Cross visit: wattle clearing along the river in Stulwane.
The last point was at the mountain above the dip tank, where stone packs have been built
to control erosion and restore the area, before having a brief discussion under a tree near
the stone-packs.
Figure 2: Ezibomvini-Stulwane Cross Visit: showing the check dams/stone packs built by the
Stulwane Community.
-sharing their experience with Ezibomvini, Stulwane said it was also not easy starting, few of
the community members came out on the first day, more people came on the following
Thursday, even more after that. They advised Ezibomvini to start as few as they will be,
others will slowly join-in as they see them working. Stulwane emphasised the importance of
unity in doing things as a community, they think unity played a huge role in the
implementation of the plans as they always try to listen to each other and find ways to work
together. An example made was, initially, there were two groups, one was picking up litter
which was made up mainly of women, another one was collecting stones and building
stone-packs, a complaint was made by the second group (stone packing group) that stone
collecting and packing requires more labour and is not easy, compared to just picking up
litter, together the groups then decided that they will no longer separate, they will all come
together and do one thing, move to the next together as well, they have been working like
that until the Water access project started.
Figure 3: Cross visit: community discussions.
Stulwane plans
-Stulwane is planning to make stonepacks just above the road, below the dip tank to stop
erosion, as when rains come, soil gets swept away and block the road, resulting in taxis and
other vehicles not being able to pass. They community is planning to do this before the rains
- Stulwane community stated that they have a lot going on now, such as the water access
project, building of Creche house, planting and weeding is approaching as well, they do not
think they will get time to continue in this current year, but the plan is to continue next year
around February or March. When they resume in February next year, Stulwane will
alternate between cutting wattle, Lantana in the Forest reserved for funeral purposes and
Ezibomvini progress and issues:
-when community meetings are called in Ezibomvini, few people come to attend the
meeting, making it difficult to plan and pass on the message and there is very little unity
amongst the villagers.
-as first steps, Mr Nkabinde went to have a chat with the owners of the land where the
wetland is, asked for permission and explained to them that there is a plan made to protect
the wetland and replant indigenous vegetation and medicinal plants back to the wetland,
the Sibiya family agreed and gave the community permission. He then went to another
wetland at the top above Phumelele Hlongwane’s HH, where there is abundance of
medicinal plants (Kalumuzi and Gobho), the idea is to take a bit of roots of the plants and go
put them in the Sibiya wetland as people have over-harvested the plants in that wetland.
-Ezibomvini is planning to start implementing on the week of the 09th, they are planning to
start by picking up litter in the area. On October 7th, there will be a community meeting
called by the ward councillor, this meeting provides an opportunity to pass on the massage
to the community.
-The community had identified the ezibomvini road as one of the key areas, they had
planned to do some repairing for vehicles to be able to go into the area, Mr Hlongwane then
spoke to the ward counsellor, the municipality brought their road constructing machinery
and did some repairs.
- Phumelele commented that the cross visit has given them ideas of how to go about
implementing their plans.
-electing committees for every section of an area, (eg, Section A, B and C in Stulwane), as
the areas are big and passing on messages about meetings or plans becomes difficult,
having committee members in each section would help in communicating and coordinating
such. These committees would have to be diversified by having youth, women, and men, to
encourage men and youth to take part as it is usually the mamas who take lead, come out in
numbers and take part.