The ultimate goal of the SMDCA is to erect a building capable of housing 10 classrooms and related facilities on the church property in Diepsloot. The content of the currently ABET curriculum will be expanded to improve the chances of graduates to secure employment or start their own SMMEs. More the 500 learners each year will be catered for, when this has been achieved.
This prospectus (main documents) describes a number of core initiatives on the road to this goal.
The immediate challenge, however, is to secure a new sponsor for the 2011/12 year to substitute ABET’s original partner in this project – this company has been obliged to withdraw as a result of the impact of the economic climate (supplier to building and construction industries).
The SMDCA thanks the parties interested enough to assess this prospectus. We trust that your company finds the opportunities presented interesting enough to engage with us. We recommend a visit to the ABET, and Carpentry and Sewing projects and would be more than happy to meet representatives of your company to showcase the projects at your convenience.
Diepsloot – The Context
Diepsloot is a sprawling, densely populated township, in the north of Johannesburg, South Africa, and comprises both formal and informal settlements. It was established in 1995 as a transit camp for people who had been removed from Zevenfontein. Delays in providing the land promised resulted in many residents in this tented camp making Diepsloot a permanent home. By 1999 there were about 4000 families living in backyard shacks and 6035 families in the transit zone. To compound the congestion, in 2001 the Gauteng government moved about 5,000 families to Diepsloot as part of the Alexandra Renewal Project. Diepsloot is now a formally declared component of Region A in the greater Johannesburg Metro.
The environment in Diepsloot is probably shocking to the 1st time observer but rubble strewn tracks that pass for roads and the shocking sanitation do not reflect the tight knit and vibrant community that lives amidst the seemingly depressing surroundings. The sections where new houses are being built are already creating hubs of nice homes with proud owners who want to stay there because of the community spirit.
Estimates indicate that half the population in the settlement is unemployed. The consequence of this alarming state of affairs is extreme poverty, rampant crime and other social ills, including the physical abuse of women and children. The high level of unemployment stems, in a large measure, from the low levels of education.
Core Purpose and Focus
It is into this milieu that, in 2008, St Mungo’s United Church launched the socio-economic upliftment initiative that is the foundation of SMDCA:
- Core purpose: A Credible Service Provider and Funding Vehicle for Corporate Social Investment Projects that are focused on Empowerment and Upliftment of the Diepsloot Community, through Formal Education and Training.
- Key to realising this is to:
- Touch the lives of as Many Young Adults and other (Under-) Unemployed with the Right Potential as possible
- Enable them to become either Employable or Successful Entrepreneurs
- Deliver Properly Accredited Education and Skills Development Programmes that are in line with the National Education Act.
- Guided by the following fundamental principles:
- Application of business principles that are enshrined in legislation (Companies Act) and regulatory instruments (King III).
- Ring-fenced projects that can be accounted for, financially and in terms of Specified KPIs, and reported on from the perspective of the donor community – general and specifics.
- Composition of the Board to reflect experience drawn from the congregations of both St Mungo’s congregations – Bryanston and Diepsloot.
- A roll-out process that is within the financial and human capacities of SMDCA, focusing on community demands and priorities
- No discrimination against learner-applicants base on religious or other grounds – we see anyone with a need we can help address as part of the Kingdom.
Various areas of need in the Diepsloot community have been identified through working with residents but the most immediate is unemployment and underemployment. The problem is more pronounced amongst females. There is virtually no access to the internet which coupled with a general shortage of cash exacerbates both unemployment and employment candidate opportunities. These just go unnoticed. Many people do not have a network of family in Gauteng which is the primary source of job opportunities. There are a few who are potential entrepreneurs but who do not have the support systems to get going. There are also many who have insufficient or the wrong skills to participate in the local economy.
A major obstacle to employment is a lack of understanding of:
- jobs market
- the requirements for various career paths
- the way to access the jobs market
- the techniques and actions required to obtain a job
coupled with, in many instances, the basic skills needed to participate in the economy. A further problem for many individuals is the effect of not having had any job or hope for a long time that creates a mood of despair and worthlessness.
The SMDCA’s early years were ones of experimentation and capacity building. Sponsors of its efforts were very generous and patient. Progress was exciting and the potential for making a major impact has became clear and has been the SMDCA’s.
The SMDCA Board is, thus, seeking a significant injection of donor funding from SA Corporate Citizens that share its Vision and Goals. This prospectus seeks to initiate the engagement with companies that are willing to support the SMDCA’s current endeavours and future plans.
We need partners such as these to create hope from hopelessness, freedom from social entrapment, and the enlightment that comes to such folk from learning new skills and experiencing new life-opportunities.