After successfully mentoring the Illungelo Labadala project in Amaoti, Inanda for the past 14 years, Tafta has proved that sustainable development initiatives in rural areas are dependent on community members and business working together.
“Through being involved in the Amaoti project over the past decade and a half, we’ve seen a paradigm shift in how those involved in the community see themselves,” says Tafta CEO Femada Shamam.
“Through initiatives such as the food security project, sewing club, and enterprise development projects, community members can actively contribute to their livelihood whilst providing the community with affordable products and services – usually outside their financial reach,” she said.
According to Shamam, the Illungelo Labadala project is a benchmark facility for guiding other investors interested in facilitating basic infrastructure in rural areas.
“Tafta went into the area to assist with the protection of the elderly, and to set up a safe pension pay point,” she said. “What has materialised is a sustainable, multi-purpose centre that has the potential to grow into a skills development and economic hub for the region under the guidance of the Illungelo Labadala team taking over the facility’s management and ownership in April this year.”
Apart from the basic elder care and school after-care programmes, other projects triggered by the project include a food gardening programme, sewing class, charity shop, and business facilities for local people.
Joseph Mtimkulu (72) and John Zondo (67) are two of seven gardeners working plots in the Illungelo garden. Mtimkulu, who worked in shipping prior to his retirement, says his yield of spinach, pumpkin, potatoes and other vegetables have allowed him to pay the Illungelo management a nominal commission and keep himself active too. “I earn a bit of income in this way and it helps me stay fit. So I’m very grateful”.
Another happy community resident Thini Dlamini (68) attends the weekly sewing classes hosted by local Fashion Designer Nosipho Sibisi in a voluntary capacity.
“I’ve always sewn on a smaller scale, but since coming in for classes, my skills have grown and I am able to sew for customers in the community. I support a household of 2 orphans and 3 of my own grandchildren and their mother. It would be wonderful if we could get some fabric sponsored as well so we could expand our businesses in the community,” said Dlamini.
Local businesswoman Nanazi Zikhali is the managing director of her 11-month old business Mgabadeli. After working from home without a printing facility and landline, Zikhali moved into the Illungelo Labadala business facility in January of this year. To pay the nominal rental fee, Zikhali sells meals to workers in the area. “Apart from helping me reach out for more business, the income earned through the meals keeps me afloat while my business grows,” she explained.
Treasurer of the Ilungelo Labadala committee Mrs Adelaide Valashiya, who also runs the charity shop in the facility, has completed a marketing training course facilitated by Tafta. Valashiya says she sees the potential for the facility to develop and expand much further in the future, and looks forward to when the community takes over the reins to implement programmes they have planned.
To learn more about the Illungelo Labadala project, contact Tafta at 031 332 3721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above is Nosipho Sibisi (L) and Thini Dlamini (R).