BIODIVERSITY PROGRAMME DELIVERS LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR COMMUNITY
An ecological and biodiversity programme, which aims to protect an extensive tract of land that extends to the greater Goegap Nature Reserve (GNR), near Springbok, has been established. This programme is also contributing to the upliftment of the local community through entrepreneurial development, employment, skills and capacity building, along with economic development initiatives.
Local enterprise, JLK Business Consulting, has been appointed as the implementation partner, through funding from Kangnas Wind Farm, to carry out the ecological rehabilitation and protected area management activities known as the Oranjefontein Biodiversity Programme. This has furthermore created local employment, providing jobs for five general workers and five field rangers, eight of which are male and two female. These workers have received up-skilling and accredited training, including: Occupational Health and Safety; First Aid Level 1; Snake Awareness and First Aid for Snake Bites, which will take place during the month of April.
“Appointing a local company is important because our community needs to be part of the development that is taking place. From an economic development perspective, the objective is to achieve positive, meaningful, and long-lasting socio-economic change within the beneficiary communities, and to implement sustainable projects based on developmental merit, not on short-term benefits or appearances,” said Rouchet Daniels, Economic Development Manager for Kangnas Wind Farm.
Additionally, Kangnas Wind Farm is providing JLK with a fully furnished office and budget to further empower and develop this SMME.
“This opportunity has given the company the chance to expand and venture into a new market sector. Thus, we will gain valuable experience in the fields of HR, Payroll Management and Project Management. Small businesses, such as ours, require this kind of support in order to create employment and, in turn, add to or stimulate the local economy. So, we are very grateful,” said George MacDonald, Director and Owner of JLK Business Consulting.
JLK will be providing additional educational programmes for the team of ten general workers, employed to carry out operations on the Oranjefontein Biodiversity Programme. These include: Basic Computer Training (General Workers and Field Rangers); Personal Financial Management (Field Rangers); Learner, drivers licenses; 4×4 driving skills; basic electrician, carpentry and trade skills training; amongst a range of other skills to empower and develop the team.
The Protected Area of Oranjefontein Ecological Agreement covers 5 000 hectares and has been implemented in consultation and collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development & Land Reform and Kangnas Wind Farm.
The Area is managed as part of the Greater Goegap Nature Reserve and the Kaip and Inselberg Properties, with the focus being on undertaking and managing activities that will relate to ecological rehabilitation and protected area management activities, as identified by the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform.