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A visual tribute in the celebration of the people of the Transkei and their commitment to self-sustainability and growth of their communities.

Ngumhlaba wam loo. This is my land.

Lithemba lam eli. This is my hope. Our future is getting brighter.

Sisonke singenza umahluko. Together, we can make it happen.

Mzimvubu: Land of opportunity Cradling both natural and cultural resources in its rolling hills and valleys, this land is as rich in possibility as it is shrouded in poverty. A stark contrast known too well by its more than 1.7 million inhabitants. This district includes the towns of Mthatha, Butterworth, Dutywa, Elliottdale, Qumbu, Mount Ayliff, Mount Frere, Lady Frere and Confimvaba.

AsgiSA Eastern Cape - a background

Established by the Eastern Cape government, AsgiSA EC began operations in 2008. It is mandated to address the numerous challenges which impact on development, particularly in rural Eastern Cape. It was established to accelerate agrarian transformation through six high impact priority programmes, focusing initially on the Mzimvubu River Basin area. Agriculture & agro-processing and forestry are two programmes that are being fast tracked by AsgiSA EC.

Standing together for a better rural Eastern Cape Its time we stand as one people who are building a legacy from our land. For the people who live off the land and for the people who work on the land. With the support of the government and other valuable partners, a project intended to alleviate poverty, create employment and secure food security shall surely succeed.

Unlocking dormant potential Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest the crops where you haven’t planted. Preparing the soil for planting begins the process of unlocking the dormant potential of the land. Well prepared soils are perfect for seed planting – it is also in this seed where hope lies and the promise of a better tomorrow fro the people of the rural Eastern Cape.

Watching our efforts grow The full potential of the project is only realised as the first seedlings begin to push their way through the soil. Where it once was brown, it is now lush and green. With each sunrise it appears as if the crops are taller, stronger and closer to reaching their potential.

Livestock It has long since been a proud tradition to own cattle in the Transkei. The red-brown, white and black beasts, dwarfed by their mountainous surroundings, provide bursts of colour against the emerald landscape – a truly beautiful display of the wealth of the land. The pride of the farmers is evident as their well tended cattle are in actual fact beacons of hope for others, proving that through this collective effort with AsgiSA, prosperity is possible.

Reaping what we’ve sown After working the land for many days, often under the blistering heat of the African sun, the day of the harvest is like cool drink of water after a long thirst. Through hard work, perseverance and patience, the reward and hope of the harvest arrives at last – bring it with it a celebration of dancing, laughing and singing!

A new season begins As the last songs of celebration die down and the lands are bare, so the new season quickly approaches. Always with the anticipation of a better harvest and better future for the people of the land. The cycle starts again – the land gets prepared, the soil is turned, seeds are sowed and the rain comes. Bringing renewed hope to the people and wealth of opportunities.

Changing lives Working together people can perform extraordinary feats. They can push things that come into their hands higher up, further on towards the heights of greatness. The people of this land, are from the land, are for the land and as the land changes and produces, so their dreams are reached and their lives are changed. The potential for greatness lives within the land, lives within the people.

Accompany me and listen to the music of the singing, dancing river rushing on its way to the rocky ridge. Feel the cool spray of the river shower as it tumbles over the jagged rocks of the falls. A river that travels constantly until it takes a quiet pause to form its delightful winter art during the icy chill. Cold that is only temporary as the water waits for the dancing journey that resumes when the warm days begin and the river music starts again. CAROL PELLETIER

Mthatha: ECDC House, 7 Sissons St, Fort Gale, Mthatha 5100, t 047 501 5100 | f 047 501 5110 East London: Arundel Park, Unit 2 & 3A, 12 & 14 Old Transkei Rd, Stirling, East London 5247, t 043 735 1673 | f 043 735 2679 Postnet Suite 385, Private Bag X 9063, East London 5200 |