MPUMALANGA - Dundonald is located in the Gert Sibande district municipality east Mpumalanga. It was part of the former homeland KaNgwane established under apartheid’s Group Areas Act.
Though KaNgwane was dissolved in 1994 along with the other nine homelands, Dundonald residents remain isolated to this day. Growing up without basic infrastructure, A community member, Thulasizwe. Remembers fetching water from a shared well, before communal taps were introduced. Today, it is common place to see people carrying firewood from the nearby forests. Though Dundonald has seen some developmental changes, an air of exclusion remains.
Thulasizwe matriculated at SW Nhlapo high school’s in 1997. He then went on to study at Rhodes University through NSFAS funding and qualified as a journalist. He returns to his old school and chats with an old friend, as well as the school’s founding principal Mr. Mbuyane, and its current principal Mr. Shongwe. Mbuyane and Thulasizwe reminisces about the past and how Mr. Mbuyane had played a key role in determining the trajectory of Thulasizwe life. Shongwe, also from the community, discusses how things have changed since he left almost twenty years ago, and about the challenges that remain. Child-headed households and children surviving on nominal social grant incomes of their parents are still challenges faced by learners every day. Though Dundonald is lagging far behind other parts of the country, community members say they have waited far too long for the development of a mall which was promised to them years ago.
September 19, 2018 “Billboards for this development were displayed and we were even showed the site where the mall will be constructed by our municipality, but there is still no sign for that development. We don’t even have a shopping complex, we have to travel over long distances to either shop in Ermelo or Elukwatini. Christmas holidays are even a nightmare with one having to stand in long queues in those areas and even being hijacked or robbed on our way back,” they said. The community also demand delivery of clean water service in the area.
“We sometimes go weeks without any water running from the tapes.” They added that they also want the municipality to pave and maintain roads to the local cemeteries. Police are monitoring the situation."