Kekana Gardens Interventions

ERP is working in Dinokeng Game Reserve as part of its conservation efforts to protect the welfare of elephants and rhinos through the alleviation of poverty. Adjacent to the Game Reserve is Kekana Gardens, a largely informal settlement, where ERP is implementing a variety of poverty alleviation initiatives, including management of a skills training centre, supporting an old age home and orphan day care centre and running outreach programmes in the local primary and high schools.

Activities in Kekana Gardens in 2017

Botlhokwa Bja Ngwana Orphan Day Care and Seikhokotlelo Old Age Home

Throughout 2017, we were able to fundraise for different food and clothing items that got distributed at the orphan day care and old age homes. For Mandela Day, employees came up with different initiatives to assist these two care facilities. EPI-USE Talent Management Team were able to sell muffins, with the proceeds from this sale going towards buying food and utensils for both facilities, whilst a team from iLab were able to donate various food items and got to spend time with both the children at the day care and the elderly. Additionally, we had the Perez family from Argentina who also got to spend time at both facilities whilst also donating different clothing items. They also teamed up with G3G who donated shoes for the old age home. Perhaps the biggest gesture extended to the two facilities came in December when Jana Kotze from EPI-USE organised a campaign to buy different Christmas presents for 40 children and about 20 elderly citizens. This also saw the elderly being entertained by a local youth dance group, whilst some of them also joined in song and dance.

Helping the local crafts and sewing groups

Through the Gauteng Provincial Government, the two groups were able to get business mentorship and training in order to formalize their operations. ERP was also able to assist as we were part of this process as a key stakeholder. Thanks to Jana Kotze and Christelle Pretorius for the continued support and guidance of the crafts and sewing cooperatives throughout 2017. Our end goal is to be able to assist the cooperatives with marketing of their products through our various links and networks, including ERP Mercantile.

Outreach programmes in the local schools

In addition to the above interventions, we have also been involved with the local Rethabile Primary School and Steve Biko Secondary School. Earlier in the year, Thami Mupawose from ERP was able to source a donation of two laptops for these schools. These laptops were to be used as learning aides for students at both schools, mainly the examination classes. This gesture was welcomed by both principals and the laptops are still currently being utilised. In addition, Dr Bansi, a dentist from South Africa, in association with Colgate spent the day with us at Rethabile Primary School where she gave out educational material and raised awareness on good oral hygiene for young children. The highlight of the day was when the ERP team helped her to give out sponsored Oral Health care kits for each of the 1 540 learners at the school. Thanks to our team member Jean Nagiah for organizing this important and meaningful event.

Management of the Pfaranani Skills Training Centre

Towards the end of 2017, ERP was given the opportunity to manage Pfaranani, a local skills training centre that had been idle for over a year. This was under a short term lease as a start, with an opportunity to extend into a long term agreement. We immediately were able to employ 4 community members to oversee the management and day to day operations of the centre. Our plan is to implement a number of training courses in IT, agriculture, coding and run enterprises that will not only benefit the community, but will keep the centre running a self-sufficient and sustainable hub.

Next Steps

In 2018, we aim to get in all the required training programmes in place at the centre in order to provide accredited and non-accredited training that will benefit the community. We also look towards introducing income generating enterprises including a R5 shop, internet café and second hand clothes shop that will all provide for the immediate needs.

Christelle Pretorius