The Godisanang OVC Programme is the Royal Bafokeng Nation’s response to the plight of the growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) in the area. The goal of the Godisanang OVC Programme is to provide comprehensive, competent, child-focused and compassionate care that will improve the quality of life for orphans and other vulnerable children living in Royal Bafokeng communities.
Started in 2008, there are now seven OVC centres operating from existing buildings, such as school buildings: four in the north of the Bafokeng area and three in and around Phokeng. Services and activities provided at the centres for children under the age of 18 include teenage talks which include HIV/Aids education; homework assistance and school support for learners; a feeding scheme where one meal is provided daily to all children; provision of food parcels to families who are not yet receiving grants; provision of healthcare; home visits by care-givers; and psychosocial support.
Working to create a caring community
The Godisanang OVC Programme is a joint venture between Royal Bafokeng Nation and Tapologo – a community-based organisation that employs and empowers community members to service their communities in dealing with the HIV/Aids pandemic.
The programme collaborates with experienced NGOs and government to ensure children are provided with the necessary care and services to improve their circumstances and give them a normalised upbringing in accordance with the resources available to them. There is a staff of 65: 59 females and five males, and it is 100% black. The level of involvement of staff varies from management to those who take care of the day-to-day cleaning, cooking and caring of the children, as well as those involved in the maintenance.
The programme is not without its challenges. Although jointly funded by Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Impala Bafokeng Trust (IBT), as well as receiving ad hoc funding from companies and community members, the programme finds it difficult to source funders with a long-term sustainable commitment to the project. This hampers the development of staff and continual improvement. Other obstacles are social ills such as teenage pregnancies and theft from the centres where the programme is run.
Opportunity at every turn
Kedase Business Enterprise (Pty) Ltd supplies loading and rigging services, mainly through the hiring of cranes, to a range of clients in Rustenburg and surrounds. The company started in Rasimone in 2005 when the current owner, Daniel Sekano, was working for the mine and realised the potential of going out on his own. Sourcing equipment externally, Kedase has worked on a range of projects including master drilling and discovery drilling.
Royal Bafokeng Enterprise Development (RBED) assisted Kedase Business Enterprise by training four of its employees as crane operators and by facilitating mining contracts for the company. The business then expanded to supplying clients with loading and rigging services (mainly crane hire).
“We have received a lot of support from the RBED,” says the founder of the business, Daniel Sekano. “RBED paid for us to have exhibition space at MINEX (Mining Expo) in Rustenburg and I received numerous enquiries from the expo, some of which have translated into business,” Sekano adds.
In 2014/15, Kedase Business Enterprise had an annual turnover of around R8 million. It has expanded and now offers everything from steelwork and woodwork to accommodation in the form of a guest house.
With the expansion of the business has been the increase in staff numbers. Kedase Business Enterprise is made up of 47 employees who are all permanent staff. The employees work across various activities; from the loading and rigging services to the guest house. The staff is 100% black and includes crane operators, administration personnel, and workshop and kitchen staff. Clients include Royal Bafokeng Platinum, Impala, Xtrata Merafe, Rustenburg Platinum Mines and Sun City. Kedase Business Enterprise has big plans for the future and aims to expand its operations into other parts of South Africa.
Garden creates a sense of belonging
Chaneng Association for the Blind was established in Chaneng in 2005 as a small-scale farming project to grow vegetables, and is run by people who are partially or completely blind. There are 15 people who are currently part of the association, eight of whom are the original founders. “Our staff is 100% black and all are senior people,” says Mme Ntebo, one of the founders.
The association grows a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. These are planted, fertilised, watered and harvested to then be processed and sold. They also harvest, package and sell honey from beehives. Daily tasks include maintaining the garden, plantingandwateringthecropsandharvestingthehoney. Healthy eating is an important aspect of people’s daily lives and through the provision of organic vegetables, the community has access to healthy food at affordable prices. In addition to selling produce to the community, the association sells to Sun City and to Boshoek shops.
The association aims to develop blind people and give them courage to do things for themselves. It also intends to reduce unemployment and poverty, which is especially high among people living with disabilities. It prides itself on being a local organisation providing organic goods at a large scale. Most importantly, it offers blind and partially sighted people a place of belonging.
In 2005, Royal Bafokeng provided the Association for the Blind with land and, in 2007, the organisation received a grant from the Mbeki Trust. The biggest challenge the organisation faces is continued funding. The activities generate a modest return, and sometimes the work is motivated by passion, a love for agriculture and personal pride alone.
Since the inception of the project in 2005, the scale of planting and harvesting has increased from a small backyard to a much larger area. An irrigation system was recently installed, replacing the use of cans to water the garden which is a far more efficient method. Members pride themselves on the fact that they share information and teach skills to those who join the organisation.
Agricultural students from the North-West university use the area for some of their practical work which is testimony to the good work the project does. The success has not gone unnoticed. The founder and co-ordinator for the Chaneng Association for the Blind won the Community Builder of the Year award in 2008 and the provincial Entrepreneur Female Farmer of the Year award in 2013.