Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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The Impact Of Indigenous Community-Based Groups Towards Social Development

J Makhubele


Successful realisation of social development goals and objectives requires the effective
harnessing, harmonising and rationalising of indigenous community based groups within
their indigenous cultures. These groups have to be identified, work together and be
appreciated as they add value and improve the quality of life of people in their localities.
They are self-propelled social enterprises and visible in community events ranging from
weddings, funerals and xiseveseve (mutual aid groups). These groups are not recognised
and supported by both private and public sector institutions, let alone funded as they are
not registered as Non-Profit Organizations (NPO), close corporations (cc) or trusts to
access funding from government and/or other donors. Working in groups is indigenous to
African communities and has far-reaching effects, which reverberate beyond the boundaries
of these groups and has historically been an embodiment of the way of life, custodian
of customs, traditions and cultures and provide venue where ideals of mutuality, sharing
and giving can be developed. They are community development interventions aimed at
meeting social development goals. Since it is an undisputable fact that indigenous African
people are by nature highly gregarious, they are of help to each other socially, economically
and spiritually during their events.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, social development, natural groups.

Indilinga Vol. 7 (1) 2008: pp. 37-46

AJOL African Journals Online