Gauteng Peace and Development Foundation

Empowerment, training and income generation

Perspective - Helping communities to help themselves
GPDF started in 1994 as people in Gauteng decided to carry on the work of the official peace structures when government funding stopped. They realised the importance of reconciling former enemies and getting them to work together towards reconstruction - peace and development go hand in hand. Because communities were anxious to get started on projects that would improve their situation the Basic Orientation Course (BOC) in Community Development and Project Management came into being. Courses are run when funds are available. The aims include developing social and practical skills to equip participants to manage projects.

GPDF trainers have begun to deliver the Micro MBA
The Micro-MBA Business Training Course enables people to create their own jobs, usually in a small or micro-business to start with. With some 9 million not employed in the formal sector, and half a million first-time job seekers unable to find employment each year the only solution for most is to start up alone. The Micro-MBA programme gives provides 5 days training. The participant has to contribute R50 (£4) and, R500 (£40) comes from the Micro-MBA Bursary Fund. Prospective trainees are screened to assess the viability of their existing or planned business.


Examples of GPDF projects
These projects equip individuals with skills for life and benefited their communities:

  • Road maintenance and community hall projects.

  •  Brick making has been important in the squatter camp outside Sebokeng

  •  Adult Literacy projects have taught participants how to read and write, learn English as a language, how to fill in forms and to write funding proposals.

  •  Planting grass on a mine dump stopped the sandstorms.

  •  Bakers in the East Rand, selling cakes at a taxi rank, saw enormous business growth after participating in a course. Now they rent premises, operate for 16 hours a day and create jobs for others.

  •  Orange Farm, a huge informal settlement area south of Johannesburg, absorbs people moving to the Gauteng heartland. Temporary shacks appear in an unplanned residential sprawl. On a 2-day BOC for 439 participants in the Orange Farm area, and 45 from the Drieziek Ext 3 community, training was given on how to negotiate with government officials regarding the future of their settlement. Once government agrees a process of formalization of land-use starts. The area is surveyed and stands are allocated for private residential and community use. The Drieziek local committee, successfully negotiated many aspects of the process including surveying the land and the allocation of sites to the approximately 3400 squatters, and helped residents fill out application forms for government housing subsidies.