Khanysile has lived in Section 19 for almost a decade, raising her youngest children here. The opportunity to make a living here is limited to selling small amounts of sugar or rice to the seasonal cane workers or the occasional field work that might be available. Some women here have set up shebeens (bars) and resort to prostitution just to survive.
Marula season starts in December and lasts thru January. The marula fruit is usually gathered and fermented for a fairly potent brew. The nut inside the fruit is discarded to growing mounds each season. Inside these nuts are two kernels (the kernels have very high oil content). Historically the nuts would have been cracked and the kernels eaten or used to cook with. Modernity has mostly left that practice behind. Now, women from these areas buy imported cooking oil from the local shops.
With a press installed close to Section 19, Khanysile can crack the nuts and bring the kernels to press them for cooking oil. This will save her up to E35 ($3.50USD) a month. While this may not sound like much, this could be as much as 10% of her entire monthly income. Khanysile can also sell any excess oil she has then to supplement her income even more!
All of the women who attended the community meeting in 19 are excited about the possibilities and are looking forward to using the press. With a fresh harvest of marula fruit just days away, this presents a tremendous opportunity to save money, improve nutrition and supplement income in an area where there is no real economy to participate in.
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