Swaziland: Mankayane Town Board

Date: August 29, 2018
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Khanyisile Mamba-Gender Focal Person 

Mlungisi Tsela-Gender Champion 

Mankayane is a town located in the Manzini region. It is a small developing forest town with road network to Manzini, Mbabane and Piet Retief. This small-town service the chiefdom of Velezizweni. Nearby are the extensive man-made forests which cover much of the Highveld areas of Swaziland. The area around Mankayane is also covered in small homesteads where traditional forms of agriculture are carried out. Other small irrigation schemes now exist providing a cash cropping basis for some local farmers. One such scheme is Ntamakuphila. 

The areas to the West and South of Mankayane are Swazi Nation Land (SNL). These areas are “tribal” lands. That land is administered under traditional systems of land tenure where a chief gives land to people, enough for their wives and children to use. This happens at the point at which these people ” Khonta“, or allegiance, to the Chief. Individuals do not own the land they have “rights of usufruct “, rights to use land as they need it for their families. To the north are the man-made forests and these sits in Individually Tenured Land (ITL). 

Mankayane Town board has a draft gender policy and is gender main-streaming her activities. The town has newly elected board unfortunately none of them is female or disabled.  About 60% of the board members are youth. The new Board Members have been oriented on the Gender agenda. The town has not managed to host 50/50 campaigns for the local government Councillors elections as a result (MTB) has 100% men Councillors hence the mayor and the deputy are both males.  The town has only one committee which is chaired by a male. Minimal financial muscle hinders the towns implementation of planed activities whereas women still need to be capacitated on active participation on leadership forums. 

 The Board offers equal opportunities when hosting meetings; however, poor participation has been noted from the community especially people living with disabilities and youth. Between 51-75% women participate in public consultation including Gender based Violence campaign and community meetings. (MTB) has up scaled the recruitment of female workers although, these staff members have not yet been confirmed or formally employed (casuals) however, only 33% of the overall staff is female. Mankayane town Board has a draft wellness policy that incorporates gender issues at work. Staff members are sensitised on issues of sexual harassment, gender and child protection. Due to minimal financial capacity the board has not constructed ramps and toilets for people living with disabilities. Solar panel lights were installed and there is also a controlled dumpsite but the streets are not yet named. 

 The town has a 3months maternity and paternity plus flexible casual leave. The council does not have its own health facility but has a good working relationship with the local hospital on health linkage. It also facilitates GBV campaigns with the help of local stakeholders like police, churches local schools and the government hospital. The focal person and the youth mentor ensures that SRHR programmes are implemented for both in school and out of school youth. 

Category  Budget 2016 

US $ 

Budget 2017 

US $ 

Resources allocated to promoting gender equality in decision-making and public preparation.  750  875 
Resources allocated in promoting gender equality/family friendly/ youth and disability friendly policies and practices.  2250  2800 
Resources allocated to gender responsive local economic development.  39113  3600 
Resources allocated to promoting gender/youth/PWD responsive projects on climate change.  4130  2580 

 There is an existing entrepreneurship finance scheme linked to the council that benefits women, men and the youth. The Board offers equal opportunities on economic strengthening at the market place and also facilitated financial support for women in Mabovini but all these do not include people living with disabilities. Most of the market stalls are occupied by females. On the women empowerment angle Mankayane town Board with the help of local stakeholders has trained 13 care-workers on health issues, given them food parcels and sent them on a trip to Mlilwane game Reserve. The town has also help implementing the entrepreneurship project facilitated by Gender Links to empower gender-based survivors since 2014 up to 2017.The board has an open policy whereby tenders are advertised to everyone and mostly men use the opportunity hence they own most big businesses in the town and women eventually end up falling to the small business sector. 





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