Working together to better the lives of people we serve
21 Sep 2010
"The mandate of the National Development Agency (NDA) is a critical one, to fight poverty, more so to target civil society organisations who work closely with communities around the country. Poverty is a daily experience for most people in South Africa. We want to allow people the means to develop their own livelihoods and this can only be achieved with the assistance of the NDA and other government departments," said the NDA's newly appointed CEO, Ms Vuyelwa Nhlapo, on the first month milestone celebration of her taking up office.
The NDA Western Cape provincial office launched 24 projects in the Eden and Cape Winelands districts on the 19th of August 2010 at Simunye Community Centre, Kwanokuthula in Plettenberg Bay. The guests at the event –which included NDA funded project members, NDA dignitaries, local and provincial government representatives and members of the community- were welcomed by Mayor of Bitou, Cllr Lulama Mvimbi. He invited guests to feel at home and welcomed them to stay as long as they please. "Bitou municipality is renowned for 320 days of sunshine of the 365 days in the year". He went on to thank the presence of the NDA in the community, "I am happy with the work and the relationship we have with the NDA - it is one we want to sustain going forward."
The NDA funded an amount of R3 363 785.00 in the Cape Winelands district and a total of R10 994 759.00 in the Eden district.
Many of the projects are focused on manufacturing activities which include: leather craft; laundry, bakery, brick making services; wool, honeybush tea, essential oils, mushroom farming and packaging, dried fruit as well as arts and crafts productions.
One of the projects, Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP), has been distributing their honeybush tea to Pick 'n Pay for the past few years.
Hoop in Aksie Primary Cooperative Ltd, trading as Leather Works Project, manufacturers of leather craft goods employs 18 people. They received funding on R669 612.00 from the NDA. They have been fortunate to be presented with opportunities to showcase and exhibit their products at international platforms in Portugal, Italy and Kenya.
The Simunye Community centre was launched on 27 May 2000 by the then Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology: Ms Bridgette Mabandla. This multi-purpose centre consists of community amenities: restaurant, gym, library, crèche. The NDA funding was used to establish a bakery, laundry service, food garden, cultural village, brick-making and leather-making activities. A few government departments such as SASSA, Department of Labour and Social Development are also housed in the centre.
The Provincial Manager of the Western Cape, Ms Jessica Fortuin, shared some challenges faced by the NDA with regard to better servicing the projects they fund. "We aim to develop our projects from a welfare to a developmental state, by ensuring excellence in the products they produce so they too are able to compete in the main markets. Access to markets remains a challenge - we need to reach a point where we are able to provide a platform where these projects can trade locally and internationally," she says. There have also been good outcomes such as job creation and value chains have been created within the communities.
In support of Ms Vuyelwa Nhlapo's statement, she added that, "The NDA cannot complete this task alone - all spheres of government need to be active. NDA cannot fund everyone - we also rely on the already funded projects to empower other community entities. She closed off by pledging to continue facilitating an enabling environment for the projects to work, to continue building the capacity as well as developing partnerships - locally and provincially - to assist them with their other needs.
Simunye Community centre chairperson, Mr Simphiwe Dladla, said "The NDA made our lives easier; their funding allowed us to establish six other projects giving the beneficiaries the chance to develop not only themselves but also their communities. The stipends have allowed these members to put food on the table for their families". He also identified marketing of their goods and services as an obstruction to their progress and appealed for assistance in this area to ensure sustainability of their projects.
Makgodu Tsehloane (National Development Agency)
Tel: 011 018 5500
Source: National Development Agency
Issued by: National Development Agency
21 Sep 2010
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