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It has been established that development in most African countries has been severely affected due to the loss of the key aspects that define communities and the environments in which they live. Rural communities are normally overlooked when development interventions are implemented. Immediate intervention of rural communities requires funding for infrastructure such as earth dams, training facilities, marketing of products and services, frameworks for rural development plans as well as capacity support. Such funding plays a positive role in the development of self-reliance of rural communities.
Other than funding, African indigenous knowledge is critical in advancing the self-reliance of rural communities. However, such a knowledge system is either underdeveloped or not fully utilised for development purposes. The underutilisation of African indigenous knowledge leads to the loss of valuable information that could be used for developmental purposes, ensuring unified communities. This affects the establishment of self-reliance strategies in rural communities leading to the creation of endogenous growth. Such growth enriches the development process and empowers communities to be self-reliant, thus improving quality of life. The economic empowerment strategies should result in the development of rural entrepreneurs for South Africa. This study assesses the effects of self-reliance on rural community development in KwaZulu-Natal.