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Marobala-O-Itsoše CPA wins 2nd prize in Vumelana Governance Awards

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On Sunday the Vumelana Advisory Fund awarded the Marobala-O-Itsoše Communal Property Association (CPA) of Marobala Farm in Limpopo the second prize in the 2015 Vumelana Governance Award in recognition of their achievements in effectively governing the CPA’s affairs.
The Marobala-O-Itsoše community was dispossessed of its land rights between 1941 and 1965 when its members, who refused to be reduced to labour tenants on the land they occupied, were issued with “trek passes”. These passes were the old apartheid style documents to formalise forced removals. The community members were forced to scatter and relocated in various areas such as Moletjie, Mohodi, Bochum, Botlokwa and some went as far as Mpumalanga.
In 2004, the Marobala-O-Itsoše Community witnessed the handover of 9 000 ha of land in their favour. According to the Nkuzi Development Association, this marked the beginning of community integration, involvement and participation in their development initiatives of job creation, livelihood security and communal land governance.
The governance of the CPA rests on the adoption of and adherence to a constitution that governs all the affairs of the CPA. In this regard, well developed policies, good and consistent communication to its members through Annual General Meetings, consultative forum meetings, quarterly meetings, and well-developed benefit distribution principles whereby it invests in various initiatives to improve the livelihoods of its members, all act to enhance a CPA’s effectiveness ensuring that a communities rights become real.
The Vumelana Advisory Fund is a non-profit organisation that helps communities who are beneficiaries of the Land Reform Programme to develop their land by funding advisory services to structure commercially viable partnerships between these communities and investors. It further supports the development of well governed communal property institutions by providing governance and administration support.
The Vumelana Governance Award is designed to encourage and reward the adoption of good governance practices by CPAs:
Ensuring that the body is properly constituted- with an approved constitution, membership register and approved policies and procedures.
Producing management accounts and audited annual financial statements.
Having the capacity to administer the property and other resources under its control through an effectively organised and managed office.
Maintaining effective social cohesion among members by, among other things, effective and consistent reporting to members via an AGM and other means.
This year was the second year of the Vumelana Governance Awards. Applications were received until 29 May 2015. Vumelana received an encouraging response from a wide range of communities. Seven nominees were short listed and independent assessors were appointed to review the short listed candidates. The assessors verified the information submitted and analysed the nominations against a carefully developed framework. The final adjudication panel was chaired by an independent chairperson from Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo who reviewed the integrity of the process.
The prize money for the Vumelana Governance Award is set out below:
First prize: R200 000: Maitjene Community Development Trust
Second Prize: R100 000: Marobala-O-Itsoše CPA
Ms Vuyo Masisi, Communications and Stakeholder Relations Manager of Vumelana, made the award to Mr. Matome Maloba, Chairperson of the CPA. Other notable speakers in the event included the Mayor of Molemole Municipality, Ms Pauline Makgato, Mr. Tele Maphoto, a representative of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and Ms Mo Lebepe of the Nkuzi Development Association. The Maitjene Community Development Trust award ceremony is scheduled to take place on 16 October at Maitjene in Ofcolaco. More details regarding this event can be found by contacting Mr Hendrik Neethling at hjn@webmail.co.za.
Vumelana will make a call for new applications for its Governance Awards early next year and CPAs are encouraged to apply.
For more information of the Vumelana Governance awards please contact Ms Lisa Herbst at lherbst@vumelana.org.za.