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Woodville residents launch development trust

A group of Woodville residents have come together to form the Woodville Development Trust (WDT), an initiative to mobilise resources for the development of the area.

This community driven development initiative was formed by like-minded individuals who grew up in the suburb but are now scattered globally and wish to see their suburb develop into a well serviced area.

The trust was launched on Monday at a well attended event held at Woodville SDA church.

Speaking during the launch, one of the trustees Busi Ncube, said she was motivated to take part in the local development process after working outside the country assisting other people.

“My field of work is in international development and I specialise in peacebuilding, security, and conflict including development. I then challenged myself that in addition to assisting other countries to build peace, I should be involved in the development of my local community. When resources are few and there is less development, conflict arises which is why we must develop our community,” she said.

Ncube said in August after seeing the myriad of challenges faced by residents who complained about poor roads, the water crisis and lack of services started the development conversation with her peers.

“It was obvious that we must do something as children of the community. For instance most of the boreholes are dry and that worsens the water crisis for residents. I work outside the country three quarters of the time but started mobilising people both locally and in the diaspora who could jump and start the ball rolling,” she said.

“The conversation started and on August 24, 2020, we formed the Woodville Generation, with about 60 members for people who grew up in the suburb. We have five chapters representing those in South Africa, Ireland, United Kingdom (UK), North America inclusive of Canada and America then the Zimbabwean chapter. A drafting team was formed and we decided to form a trust. Lawyers said the process would cost US$500 and the money was raised in the shortest time.”

Ncube said there were five trustees, each representing the five chapters and they would run for five year terms, thereafter they could retire paving way for others.

“The Woodville Development Trust will run projects and work with the existing Woodville residents associations,” she said.

One of the trustees representing the UK, Prisca Moffat asked the residents for guidance and their prayers so that the trust could achieve what it set out to do.

“As young people we have many plans but you as the elderly know better and must let us know what we have to focus on,” she said leading a discussion on the priority projects that were to be done.

Since the road leading up to Woodville is terrible, residents said it should be a priority including street lighting, public transport, setting up a clinic, a secondary school and a police camp.

Guest of Honour at the launch, well known-development expert, Macdonald Khumalo, urged the community to embrace innovation and work with the trust.

“You must seek to have an impact and leave a legacy in life. Together you must  work for development, open your minds to possibilities and opportunities. Make the most out of your work and that is the focus of development, which is to move ahead,” he said.

Khumalo advised the trust to accept constructive criticism and as a team, should be candid with each other and avoid unnecessary complements.

Acting Woodville’s Residents Association Chairperson, Irvin Khumalo, said they would work together with WDT to develop the suburb.

“You have the blessings of the association and if you don’t do what you are supposed to do, you will disappoint your parents and elderly members who are here to support you,” he said and also thanked the elderly for raising children who took an initiative to uplift their community.

Representing the community, an elderly man identified as Baba Khumalo, expressed gratitude to WDT for spearheading development in the area.

“Today we are here to show support and thank you for embarking on this process but next time we must be here to thank you for results and outcomes. We must work together and there must be no countering positions in order to develop Woodville. I trust this process will have checks and balances along the way,” he said.

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