About Us > About Our Area

The Umdoni and Vulamehlo Local Municipalities are located in UGU District in deeply rural regions of Southern KwaZulu Natal.  The region is home to approximately 145,000 people.  The Umdoni municipality borders the coast and Vulamehlo is situated inland.    During 2014 the majority of our work and support will take place in Vulamehlo- the area with the greatest needs.  “The Vulamehlo Municipality is one of the localities within the UGU District that is hardest hit by high unemployment levels, poverty and negative economic growth rate” (The Local Government Handbook).

The population of Vulamehlo is 77,403 people living in 16,135 homesteads. Vulamehlo is noted for sharp valleys, river systems, and hilly broken terrain. There is an almost equal split of land between commercial agriculture and traditional settlement areas . The network of dirt roads is generally poor and many areas are not accessible after heavy rains.  Small settlements are widely scattered and this contributes towards poor provision of infrastructure. The hub of the area is at Dududu where municipal and government offices are established.

The major problems in our rural community are HIV and TB, poverty and unemployment. The unemployment rate is 52.6% of the labour force, with many families being dependant on seasonal agriculture and social welfare grants, and many families have no economically active person in the family.

HIV causes sickness and death of family members, the family social structure and support collapse , and socialization and schooling of children is affected.  There remains a high level of denial of HV and stigmatization of those affected.

Rural communities are disadvantaged by a lack of healthcare and social welfare services, as these are not easily accessible to them. The general standard of nutrition is poor, and this affects the ability of those on chronic medication to adhere to treatment regimes.  Orphans and vulnerable children may lack the identity documents which would enable them to receive government grants.

Health is provided by mobile health teams who visit areas monthly.  The introduction of the “Operation Sakhume Sakhe” weekly meetings in wards has provided a small measure of ensuring the most needy families get help.