SHONGOANE — Close to R1 million has been donated by the Department of Environmental Affairs to the Traditional Council and Community in Shongoane for the “Molomo-Monate” plant which is found within the villages under the leadership of Shongoane Royal Council.
In a meeting held last month community members raised concerns as to how they will benefit from the plant. According to the Royal Council representatives a committee has been established to work with the council regarding the use of the funds. Some members argued that the sum of money injected into this project is too little given the fact that it will benefit nine villages.
The “Molomo-Monate” plant will produce juice, sweets, as well as herbs and tablets that will heal high blood and diabetes. The plant doesn’t grow bigger than sugar cane and its roots are the core source that makes “Molomo-Monate” the valuable plant that it is.
With a lot of questions not answered, chairperson of the meeting Mr. Lebogo asked that the meeting be postponed with a promise that in the next meeting Royal Council will invite the Department of Environmental Affairs and other related stakeholders.
William Makgae said that in 2004 they met with the Department of Environmental Affairs, CSIR and Royal Council to request a representative who would act on behalf of the community of Shongoane for the product after research was done in 1996.
Makgae added that in 2008 there was an official message brought to the Royal Council about what “Molomo-Monate” can produce and that saw a beneficiary agreement that would be signed with the Queen.
“In 2012 there was a delegation that was sent to Northern Cape where they would get a certificate from Environmental Affairs regarding this plant. He says the name “Molomo-Monate” came from CSIR scientists who initially called it “Monateng” said Makgae.
In an article in the Daily Sun, written by Joshua Sebola in July 2015, he said the locals from Ga-Seleka claimed the plant does wonders for them.
Chief Phetolo Seleka at that time said to the Daily Sun that he felt blessed because the plant brings peace. He added that he wasn’t surprised to see everybody in his community living in harmony.
In June 2015, a correspondent from News24 wrote that two Limpopo communities are set to receive a combined R2.6m for helping with the development of a non-carbohydrate sweetener.
It was stated that “Schlerochiton ilicifolius”, the scientific name of “Molomo-Monate”, is one of the plants researched by the CSIR over the past 27 years and turned into a consumable product and that investigation by the CSIR found that “Molomo-Monate” was 1 400 times sweeter than regular sugar.